Let me introduce myself; my name’s Jess and I am currently doing my level 3 apprenticeship in digital marketing here at Touchpoints. Prior to this I attended sixth form college, however soon realised this was not the direction I wanted to pursue. Having come to this conclusion I began looking into apprenticeships, which ultimately led me to Touchpoints.

The touchpoints team

Lets start with the basics: what are apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study. You will spend the majority of your hours within the workplace and a few either at college or attending online lessons. When I began to apply for sixth form, I wasn’t aware of an alternative route. There was very little information on offer, which is why I am sharing my experience from the application process to the everyday experience as an apprentice.

For more information view the government website

Here are my top 5 reasons why I would recommend apprenticeships:

  1. Develop a range of hard and soft skills
    Personally, the main benefit of doing an apprenticeship is that I have the opportunity to work in the real world, dealing with real clients and real tasks. While there may be more pressure, I have found it has helped me grow so much. No pressure, no diamonds!
  1. You get paid!
    Apprenticeships are fully funded by your employer and the government. They are paid dependent on age and this can be lower than minimum wage, but you will be earning as you're learning. In addition to that there’s no extra costs to you, sounds like a win to me.
  1. Builds professional relationships.
    Working in the real world gives you a chance to network with many people, and the more links you have the more opportunities that may be available to help alongside your apprenticeship once it has been completed.
  1. You can be any age.
    Did you know you don’t have to be finishing school to do an apprenticeship? I’m 17 and I’m actually the baby in my class! It’s ideal for anyone of any age who wants to gain an extra qualification while in the workplace.
  1. Its more coursework based.
    If like me, you struggle with exams then an apprenticeship will be perfect for you! Whilst you still have exams that can be pretty challenging, your overall grade is also decided on all the work you complete throughout your apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are also taught similarly to a university degree, so for those of you thinking about university you’ll be able to get a taste of the Uni life!

So, which apprenticeship is right for you?

There are different levels of apprenticeships:

Apprenticeship level Equivalent education level
Level 2GCSE
Level 3A Level
Levels 4/5/6/7Foundation degree and higher
Levels 6/7Masters/bachelors degree

The requirements will be individual to each apprenticeship as it depends on the provider and employers’ preferences.

Feel free to contact us for any enquiries about finding placement.

Can apprenticeships get you into University?

You may be surprised by this, but yes! A level 3 apprenticeship can still get you into university as it is equivalent to 2 A levels and therefore carries UCAS points. Anything higher than this is the same as going to university. However, as a level 2 apprenticeship is only equivalent to 5 GCSE’s, you would have to take a higher level apprenticeship before being able to go to university.

Where to find an apprenticeship

I am taking my apprenticeship through InteQual. They offer level 3 and 4 apprenticeships in digital and IT skills. You can apply for an apprenticeship through their website. If these positions aren’t for you, many more apprenticeships can be found through platforms such as Indeed.