Higher apprenticeships offer employees a mix of on and off-the-job training much like other apprenticeships. However, they are more specialised and more complicated in their structure. Apprentices on Higher apprenticeship schemes gain much more advanced skills and qualifications. There are currently 47 higher apprenticeships available, in a range of sectors and different job roles. However, the number of higher apprenticeship frameworks is growing every year.
Higher apprenticeships are available on levels 4 to 7. Level four is equal to a foundation degree, level six is equal to a BA or BSc and level seven is equal to an MA or MSc. As higher apprenticeships require more skill and understanding, candidates should have already completed level 3 qualifications, such as BTEC level 3, A-levels or an advanced apprenticeship.
Payment requirements and training options are similar to those for other apprenticeships. However, because of the greater skill required, higher apprentices are usually paid far in advance of the minimum wage required. Furthermore, training may be provided through a higher education institution rather than a school or college.
If you are interested in offering a degree (6 or 7) level apprenticeship, the programme will be structured slightly differently. Rather than running your own work-based programme with elements of external training, you will have to develop a full degree programme in tandem with a University. Equally, higher apprentices can complete a degree course in addition to workplace learning and a final test of professional competence.
In employing higher apprentices you'll go through the same system as any with other apprentice, and the best way to do this is through the Government website. Because these apprenticeships are relatively new, they are changing all the time and there is relatively little information available about them. If you are really interested in setting one up, you should begin by contacting a government advisor.