The Best Apprenticeships in the UK

We've just announced RateMyApprenticeship's Top 100 Employers 2020-2021!

These are the greatest, the chiefs, the bees knees of employers, based on the feedback of thousands of peer-to-peer reviews of apprenticeships and school leaver schemes in the UK...













The table above only scratches the surface. There are 90 MORE fantastic employers offering quality apprenticeships to school and college leavers like you, based all over the UK in a huge range of industries.

Click below to check out the Top 100 and start applying.

The best apprenticeships in the UK right now

‘Blimey! There are so many different and fantastic apprenticeships available!’

It’s true.

‘But how do I find the scheme that is right for me? How do I find the best apprenticeships in the UK?’

What a fun question. With so many levels of apprenticeship, in so many different industries, offered by some many different employers, it’s no picnic choosing a scheme to apply for.

The easiest way of finding the best UK apprenticeships is to read reviews of different schemes. RateMyApprenticeship has more than 25,000 reviews of apprenticeships.

The reviews are written by the apprentices themselves, and offer a candid insight into the day-to-day lives of apprentices. Each review reveals what it’s like to work for a particular company, the content and structure of the scheme, information about salary, and the social opportunities available outside of work.

If you are considering applying for an apprenticeship, the reviews are like Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secretsmust-read! Use the experiences of your peers to help you find the best apprenticeships in the UK.

Click below to jump over to our reviews page. You can filter your search to target reviews by industry and location.

Apprenticeships have changed...

School and college leavers no longer have to take the university route to get a job in their desired field, or even A Levels. There are now apprenticeship schemes available in a crazy-range of sectors, from IT and Digital to Accounting, Engineering and Social Care.

And the best apprenticeships in the UK will provide you with the qualifications, skills and experience you need to take your next step post-school or college.

Keep reading for an essential guide to the best apprenticeships in the UK...

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are professional work schemes designed for young people between the ages of 16-25.

An apprenticeship is a combination of real-work and studying towards professional qualifications. Apprentices benefit from the on-the-job training, as well as the academic side of the programme.

As mentioned before, apprenticeships have changed. They have traditionally been associated with trade industries like plumbing, construction or carpentry. Now, there are opportunities to do an apprenticeship in an array of fields, whether it be with a law firm, an accounting firm, an IT or engineering company.

If getting your foot on the career ladder (while earning a salary) sounds splendid, read on to find out about the different levels of apprenticeships, and the best apprenticeships available in 2020-2021...

Read our full overview of Apprenticeshipsfor an in-depth guide to the different types of schemes available to school leavers in the UK. 

How do apprenticeships work?

An apprentice splits their time between working in a professional environment, and at a college/training centre.

At work, an apprentice will learn and work alongside experienced professionals from a field. This is an opportunity to develop the technical and practical skills which are required for a specific job.

The academic aspects of an apprenticeship are designed to provide an apprentice with the professional qualifications they need to progress in that field.

The structure of an apprenticeship will depend on the employer. Schemes are typically organised in one of two ways:

  • an apprentice will spend four days in a week at work, and one day at college    OR
  • they will work with their employer for consecutive weeks/months, with extended study-breaks throughout the year

No matter how an apprenticeship is structured, an apprentice spends the majority of their time in the workplace. An apprenticeship is a full-time job. It is for this reason that apprentices receive a smashing salary.

Read our guide to The Highest Paid Apprenticeships in the UK to find out how to make some serious moolah straight out of school.

In this fun video, Chris, an apprentice at IBM, explains why he chose the apprenticeship path instead of going to university.

What are the different levels of apprenticeship?

Today's apprenticeships have been divided into four different levels. Look below for a short overview of each programme level…

Intermediate apprenticeships (level 2)

Intermediate apprenticeships are the very first rung on the apprenticeship ladder.

They are aimed at school leavers aged 16 or above, who have finished their GCSEs. The ENTRY REQUIREMENTS for level 2 apprenticeships vary between two or more GCSEs (9-4), a completed traineeshipor a candidate with relevant work experience.

An intermediate apprentice is awarded with a Level 2 Competence Qualification, and a knowledge based certificate (a National Vocational Qualification/BTEC).

Click to read our full overview of level 2 apprenticeships.

Advanced apprenticeships (level 3)

An advanced apprenticeship is the equivalent of doing two A levels. These schemes are available to young people between the ages of 16-24.

The ENTRY REQUIREMENTS for advanced apprenticeships can vary from scheme to scheme. Employers generally look for applicants with 5 or more GCSEs (9-4), or an intermediate apprenticeship.

Advanced apprentices are awarded with a Level 3 Competence Qualification, and a knowledge based qualification.

Click to disappear to our in-depth guide to finding an advanced apprenticeship.

Higher apprenticeships (level 4/5/6/7) 

Higher apprenticeships (you also might hear them referred to as level 4/5/6/7 schemes) are for school or college leavers aged 18 or above. These schemes can last anywhere between three to four years.

The MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS employers look for in applicants are two or more A levels, or an advanced apprenticeship in a relevant field.

Higher apprentices can be awarded with any of the following qualifications:

  • Level 4 Competence Qualification 
  • and a knowledge based qualification - Higher National Diploma/foundation degree/undergraduate degree

Click here for reviews, jobs and a more detailed overview of higher apprenticeships.

Degree apprenticeships (level 6/7)

Degree apprenticeships, are the newest level of apprenticeship. They were introduced by the government in 2015 in collaboration with the Tech Partnership. This new form of apprenticeship combines a university degree with on-the-job training.

A degree apprentice will work for an industry-leading company, gaining practical skills and valuable work experience, while they study towards a bachelors or masters degree. Degree apprentices are paid a cracking salary for the duration of the scheme, which can last anywhere between 3-5 years.

In addition, degree apprenticeships are an opportunity for school and college leavers to get a degree, without having to pay tuition fees. Tuition is covered by the government, and the company that employs the apprentice. It’s the most exciting opportunity for young people since the opening of the Harry Potter Studios.

The ENTRY REQUIREMENTS for degree apprenticeships are varied. Some employers will accept applicants who have competed a relevant advanced/higher apprenticeship. The majority of employers look for the common university requirements – two or more A levels or a set amount of UCAS points. If a particular scheme has caught your eye, you should check the websites of the employer and university for the specific entry requirements.

Click here to read our essential guide to apprenticeships with a degree.

Why should YOU do an apprenticeship?

More and more school and college leavers across the UK are choosing to do apprenticeships. Here's why...


Apprentices work towards qualifications which are really quite brilliant. Whether it be an intermediate, higher, or even a degree apprenticeship, you will have the qualifications you need to start a career, or continue with further education. These great apprenticeships are a bridge the between the afternoon you leave school, and the morning of your first job.


These top apprenticeships are a chance to work alongside highly experienced professionals. They will act as mentors, guiding you through your apprenticeship, and ensuring you pick up the crucial skills and knowledge that is required to do their job. Furthermore, the contacts you build during an apprenticeship could be useful during your future career.


These best apprenticeships are available in a rip-roaring range of different industries. If you’re interested in a career in banking, accounting, law, IT, engineering (and the list could go on), there is apprenticeship scheme waiting for you.


All apprentices are paid a smashing salary. Your salary will depend the level of apprenticeship, and the company you are working for. However, apprentices earn a wage during work and study periods. Working for a top apprentice employer is an opportunity for you to earn while you learn!


At the end of an apprenticeship scheme, you will be ready to enter the world of work. In 2018/19, 71% of apprentices remained with their employer after their apprenticeship had ended. Even if you are not offered a permanent position at the end of the scheme, you will be highly employable! Apprentices possess the practical work skills, the work experience and the qualifications which all employers are looking for.

The best apprenticeships can give you the qualifications and work experience you need to start a career. If you’re ready to take your next step after school or college, choose an apprenticeship today.