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Appren­tice­ships vs. Full Time Study

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How do you decide between an apprenticeship and a full-time course? Read on and find out more!

So – you're trying to decide between a full-time course and an apprenticeship. They are both great routes to take, but choosing how to spend the next year (or more!) of your life can be tricky.

We’ve put together a simple guide to help you make the choice that’s right for you.

What’s the difference between an apprenticeship and a full-time course?

As an apprentice, you’ll be working somewhere related to your subject – for example, you might be employed as an apprentice hairdresser in a salon while training to become a Hair Professional. Usually you’ll spend four days a week in your workplace, training and working alongside more experienced colleagues. On most courses you’ll come into College one day each week for classes and practical sessions too, keeping your learning on track - although there are also apprenticeships that don't require any College attendance.

If you’re on a full-time course you may be in College for three full days per week, doing a mixture of theory and practical lessons. Your learning will involve more theory, you’ll be assessed differently, and you'll have to do a work placement alongside your course.

What are some of the benefits of a full-time course?

  • - You can build your confidence in a familiar setting before you look for work or an apprenticeship
  • - You’ll still be doing practical work, hands-on sessions and studying something that interests you at College
  • - If you’re unsure of what career path you’d like to take, your time at College will allow you to gain work experience and learn more about your options before you apply for jobs
  • - You may not feel ready to leave education yet, and you might enjoy being in College!

What are some of the benefits of an apprenticeship?

  • - Earn while you learn: you’ll be paid to gain a nationally-recognised qualification. The current minimum wage for apprentices is £4.15/hour. This increases with your age and level of qualification, and depends on your employer - they may well choose to pay you more.
  • - You'll be gaining the exact skills and experience you need for work, which can help you find future employment.
  • - You'll also pick up loads of transferrable skills which you can apply in a variety of work settings.
  • - You still have the opportunity to improve your English and maths grades at college if needed; these will help you throughout your career
  • - You might feel ready to leave education and go into the workplace.
  • - You can get higher and even degree-level qualifications as an apprentice, and progress onto university: your apprenticeship will earn you the required UCAS points.
  • - You'll be able to network and build connections within your industry.
  • - You stand a very strong chance of promotion into a full time position with your employer

Ultimately, the decision is yours. Both are fantastic routes, and at Wiltshire College & University Centre we have plenty to offer whichever you decide. If you’re still unsure, why not get in touch with our team and talk through your options with no obligation.

Use the info below to give us a call, book a careers appointment or apply today.

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