Read more about why Henry chose a degree apprenticeship
Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?
After Honley High and Greenhead College, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I thought university was the only option for me and was just part of your life cycle. However, after coming out of college with three A levels and a confirmed place at the University of Chester, something clicked in my head and I declined the offer. I felt like I was going to university just for the sake of it and not for the reason that it would be a big impact on my future career. I felt that going to university for three years and hoping I got a job out of it wasn’t for me.
How did you find it?
Without much work experience I was finding it hard to find a good job. Then I stumbled across a website with information on higher apprenticeships. There was only one that really caught my eye, a three year Nestlé Operations Degree Apprenticeship. I saw the brand and thought I would apply.
How is it going?
Two months in and I am extremely happy I took the job. The course actually involves 80% work and 20% study at Sheffield Hallam University. That is probably the best bit! As part of the scheme you study for a BA (Hons) Professional Practise in Business Management, which is fully funded by the company. That of course means NO STUDENT DEBT! The debt was a big factor in me not going to university in the first place, so this was a great result.
Do you feel you miss out on uni social life?
The social life is great, you get to experience the uni lifestyle in small amounts, which is perfect for me. Away from university, the job does not get in the way of your social life, in fact you actually have more money to do things with your friends and the company is very flexible with how and when you work.
How was making the transition from sixth form to work?
That was a big concern for me, joining such a big company and thinking that it would be hard to make friends due to people being older and more experienced, however on the university course I’m with people from different company sites across the UK. I’ve met a group of people that I know I’ll be friends with for the rest of my life.
Are you paid?
Yes. It is definitely a nice feeling to be earning a decent salary at just 19. It fills you with a lot of confidence. The benefits of working for Nestlé are also a great incentive to work, however you will have to apply to find out what they
Any plans for the future?
My plans for the future are to complete the apprenticeship and then see what position I am in then. I would love to do some travelling with the company and see what opportunities there are in different functions.
Any words of wisdom for this year’s leavers?
My only advice to school leavers is don’t rush into any decisions - if you think you need a year out after college, take it, enjoy it and find something that suits you. Otherwise you might end up doing something for the sake of it.
Henry - Operations Degree Apprentice, Nestlé
Page updated January 2018
Colleges, schools with sixth forms, sixth form colleges and training providers offer some or all of the following types of full-time courses:
- Job specific - in subjects such as childcare, engineering, catering, motor vehicle or construction, for example joinery. They usually lead to NVQ or VQ qualifications.
- Practical/vocational (or work-related) - in broader career-related courses, such as art and design, health and social care or business. Good if you like projects and course work. They lead to qualifications, such as BTECs, Cambridge Nationals or Cambridge Technicals, and AS and A levels in applied subjects.
- Academic - in a broad range of subjects, such as history, French or maths. Good if you like to study and you do well in exams. They lead to qualifications, such as AS and A levels.
Look at Qualifications to find out more.
- Sixth form colleges and school sixth forms/UTCs offer level 2 and 3 courses, including GCSEs, As and A levels, as well as some practical/vocational qualifications
- Colleges of further education offer many job specific and practical/vocational courses at a range of levels but they don't always offer academic qualifications, such as A levels
- Training providers offer job specific and practical/vocational courses, mainly at entry levels, and level 1 and 2. They also offer apprenticeships at Level 2, Level 3 and above.
I’ve found college completely different from school, but in a good way. I like the feel of the college I attend and also the different facilities such as the coffee shops and dining area. One surprise has been the amount of work I need to complete on my Level 3 BTEC (63kb PDF)
Read more from Beth
Check out local schools, colleges and training provider websites and see 'More to explore' on the top right of this page to find out more about local schools and colleges. If you want to study in Kirklees you can also look for courses on UCAS Progress
Some specialist courses are only available at colleges in the region – Burnley, Manchester Leeds and elsewhere, for example some agriculture, building trades or music courses. Check FindFE, search UCAS Progress and talk to your careers adviser in school or college.
Page updated October 2017