5 reasons why you should hire an apprentice who has a degree


Discover the top 5 reasons why you should hire an apprentice who has a degree and realise your potential with Pareto today.

Apprenticeships for graduates have evolved over the years. Where once a degree and an apprenticeship were mutually exclusive, you can now do both – to the ultimate benefit of employers. No longer are apprenticeships just for school leavers; they are also for university graduates and experienced talent with a degree. Taking on an apprentice with a degree is a viable option for businesses looking to increase their internal resources and upskill existing talent to enhance their business.

In this blog, we delve into our top five reasons why you should hire an apprentice who has a degree and show you why apprenticeships can realise the potential of your business. But first, let’s clarify, can someone with a degree do an apprenticeship?

Can someone with a degree do an apprenticeship? 

One common question from graduates looking to do an apprenticeship course to kickstart their career after finishing university is, can I do an apprenticeship if I have a degree? A similar question, can someone with a degree do an apprenticeship? is also relevant to employers looking to hire an apprentice or want to put their existing talent on an apprenticeship even if they already have a higher level qualification. 

Yes, a person can enrol on an apprenticeship with a degree. However, the training programme's subject must differ from what the graduate studied at university to ensure they are not overqualified to do the apprenticeship course. 

Graduate apprentices are also eligible for the Apprenticeship Levy funding and can bring significant value to employers, and we will delve into why later in this article. But first, let’s look at what levels of apprenticeships are eligible for university graduates. 

What is an advanced-level apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships for graduates are vast, catering to almost every industry and position and are commonly known as higher-level or advanced-level apprenticeships. Understanding the levels of apprenticeships for graduates is simple. Typically, apprenticeship courses start at Level 2 and go up to Level 7, with Levels 4-7 equivalent to a degree apprenticeship. 

The levels of apprenticeships:

  • Level 2 = GCSE

  • Level 3 = A-Level

  • Levels 4, 5 and 6 = Foundation level degree and above

  • Levels 6 and 7 = Bachelor’s level or Master’s degree

Like all apprenticeship courses, advanced-level apprenticeships are split with work experience and study to ensure the learner gets the most out of the course and you, the employer, retain the maximum productivity from your employee. For context, work experience is the on-the-job training the graduate apprentice will gain from doing their daily job for your company. The study part of the course is the knowledge and skills the apprentice learns from the apprenticeship training provider. 

Additionally, advanced-level apprenticeships have a similar duration to other apprenticeship programmes. They can be completed within two years, either remotely, in person or a combination of the two, with the apprentice receiving an industry-recognised accredited qualification after completing the advanced-level apprenticeship.

5 reasons to take on an apprentice with a degree

Now that you know graduates are eligible to enrol on an apprenticeship with a degree, and we’ve outlined the levels of apprenticeships that graduates can complete, the question on your lips is probably, why hire an apprentice with a degree? There are many reasons to justify hiring an apprentice with a degree, and we’ve outlined the top five below.

1. Supports the transition from university to working life

Today we know business leaders are looking for more than just academic proficiency from their talent; they consider workplace acumen a significant game-changer. Although workplace etiquette and appropriate behaviours are not necessarily something talent can learn in a classroom or at university, apprenticeships can teach these essential fundamental skills. Moreover, advanced-level apprenticeships can bridge this gap between knowledge and skill with incredible results, helping the graduate to transition from university to working life.

Fresh-faced graduates are no doubt brimming with enthusiasm and knowledge. But the gap between 'ready for an exam' and 'ready for the workplace' can be a giant leap. In addition, understanding business practices and processes, despite being a fundamental part of day-to-day work life, could be something lacking from their credentials. Thankfully, an apprenticeship training scheme allows university graduates to learn and put their industry knowledge to good use while developing any gaps they may have regarding the workplace through real-life workplace-based training.

2. Help realign the career objective for the graduate trainee

A hard-working, bright graduate is a valuable asset to any team. But their dedication and commitment to that position will be limited if they're in the wrong role or feel they need a more defined purpose. For example, a young adult who chose their degree before leaving school may not have ventured into the world of full-time work before. If a graduate considers an apprenticeship, their career ambitions may have changed. They may need the chance to realign their goals with a new, exciting career that ignites a newfound passion. By offering an apprenticeship, you could provide them with that opportunity.

Before hiring an apprentice, you can clarify why they have decided to go down the apprenticeship route and their career aspirations since leaving university. Many graduates struggle to get into their desired industry with their degree alone and see the apprenticeship pathway as a means to get their foot in the door. Others may have a degree and have worked in a different field but want to change careers. Whatever their situation, you must understand the ambitions of the potential graduate apprentice and help align their objectives to a role and an apprenticeship with your business.

Suppose you consider placing an existing employee with a degree onto an apprenticeship programme. In that case, the same approach applies, and you can give your staff member an objective to work towards and a purpose. By giving someone a chance to complete an advanced-level apprenticeship, this investment into their career will give them a purpose and motivate them to work to the best of their ability for your business.

3. Graduate talent can make committed workers

Taking on a graduate apprentice and investing in their development is a significant commitment in modern business and communicates a powerful message. Young people seek companies that care about their personal growth and long-term career goals, and apprenticeships for graduates are a great way to attract, retain and develop committed workers.

By putting in the effort to train someone through an apprenticeship training programme, you're telling potential future employees that you care about their development. In addition, this approach will create workers dedicated to your company who have the potential to become internal and external advocates for your business, allowing you to attract the best talent in the first instance - fantastic for your retention rates.

4. Apprenticeships for graduates develop essential skills

A degree can help develop a person, from technical skills to independent learning. However, there is often a noticeable skills gap for graduates regarding so-called soft skills, from communication, teamwork and people skills.

Although university degrees are undoubtedly important, business leaders are turning to soft skills with more and more frequency. With an advanced-level apprenticeship, a graduate can build on their ability to understand and put into practice these essential workplace skills.

Additionally, the graduate apprentice you bring into your organisation or who are already part of your business may already come equipped with some of the technical skills or transitional skills relevant to the position you've placed them in within your company. In this instance, the graduate may need additional training to grow within their role. Apprenticeships for graduates provide a mix of on-the-job practical and theory learning to develop these essential skills.

5. Apprentices can transform business productivity

A keen graduate fresh to the industry and passionate about their new career path will bring enthusiasm and energy to a team. With much to prove, they'll be up for hitting all the KPIs and targets you set for them. When they have completed the apprenticeship course, your graduate apprentice will be freshly trained and full of self-belief. Their boosted confidence and upskilling are the perfect recipe for increased productivity.

In addition, you can hire an apprentice with a degree to support tasks that free up the time of other staff members. Doing this will allow your more experienced senior talent to focus on and increase the productivity levels of other important tasks they once had less time to commit to or complete. Your graduate apprentice can also pass on the knowledge and skills gained through the advanced-level apprenticeship to the broader team, increasing the ability and productivity levels of the other employees within the organisation.

You can get the most out of your apprentice and maximise the potential of your graduate by enrolling them in an advanced-level apprenticeship training scheme. Ultimately, with the benefits of an academic degree combined with this work-focused training, you'll soon be reaping the rewards in your business.

Discover our apprenticeships for graduates

If your business is ready to hire an apprentice or if you want to enrol an existing employee on an advanced-level apprenticeship, we can help. At Pareto, we provide the best apprenticeships for graduates and make taking on an apprentice with a degree a quick and seamless solution. So get in touch today and realise the potential of graduate talent and take your business to new heights.

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