Apprenticeships vs University

In years gone by there was an elitist assumption that a university education was better than an apprenticeship – that apprenticeships were just for those who weren’t ‘smart’ enough for further education and had to ‘get a trade’ instead.

Sadly, this is a reputation that has stuck with Apprenticeships, despite the fact that you can finish with a qualification equivalent to a Master’s Degree, that Apprenticeships can be applied to a wide range of professions and industries, and even to Leadership and Management.

Because of this negative association, more people than ever are choosing to go to University – to spend three years (at least!) working towards a qualification that no longer has the clout it once had in the job market, missing out on work experience in their chosen industry in that time – and getting tens of thousands of pounds into debt in the process.

All that, only to find that they are less likely than ever to find employment, as the market in so many industries is crying out for experienced, dedicated, qualified people – claiming that there is a gap in the job market that needs to be filled with the next generation of skilled workers, workers with experience and knowledge to apply to these vacant roles, and at a time when Britain worries about a post-Brexit future which will see far fewer skilled workers entering our job market from Europe, we are here to champion the world of Apprenticeships.

No matter what industry you are hoping to choose to progress your career, we can offer professional Apprenticeship qualifications at Level 3 (supervisor/team leader) and Level 5 (Regional or Operational Manager) which will be recognised by any profession as the industry standard for leadership qualifications.

These qualifications can not only showcase the skills you have in leading and planning, in developing a team, in achieving targets and problem solving, but can also bolster the confidence you have in your knowledge, plug any gaps in your experience with relevant, industry specific learning, and you will be supported through the entire process by mentors from within your organisation and by one of our experienced, professional trainers. Apprentices learn in-role, meaning that they can continue working throughout the course – with occasional workshop days out of the workplace, and shadowing others in the organisation for experiential learning of how the new information is applied to day-to-day, real life management.

As well as accessing the learning through your trainer and mentor, you will also find a wealth of additional learning materials, support and peer engagement from others taking the same courses with our online E-learning Management System, which all students on our Apprenticeship courses can access throughout their learning.

On top of all that – you don’t have to leave work to complete an Apprenticeship; you can earn while you learn, and there are funding options that mean not only will this qualification cost you nothing, it can also cost your employers nothing, thanks to Government Levy Funding, benefitting them by increasing your skills and knowledge, and benefitting you by developing your career skills so that you can work towards promotion and progression as you learn.

If your employer is a Levy payer, and you live in England, there are no additional costs to you or to them, and modern apprenticeships are a forward-thinking, hands-on approach to building the career you’ve always dreamed of.

No matter what position you are in, no matter your age or level of experience, Apprenticeships are open to all – and you could be on your way to greater success, greater job satisfaction, and higher earnings – so what are you waiting for?

Call today, or fill in our contact form, and let us talk you through how our Level 3 or Level 5 diplomas for Leadership and Management could be just the thing to take you where you want to be.

Leadership skills you can learn with us 

There is so much more to leadership and management than simply ‘being in charge’ – and it’s something which comes with experience, and the right guidance. The right guidance is where we come in – and we’ll help you through the full programme of your learning as you gain the experience you need to succeed.

But what, exactly, do you need to learn to be a great leader or manager? Here’s just some of the areas we cover in our Level 3 and Level 5 Diplomas:


Not just telling people what to do – but effectively communicating what you need to, why you need tasks to be fulfilled, who you trust to do those things, and how you listen to your team in response. Communication is a two-way street, and it’s just as important to listen as it is to speak – and the best leaders know the right time for both.


Managing the day-to-day tasks that come with managing a team, heading up a business, and ensuring that everything runs smoothly can be quite the challenge – and part of your learning is how to prioritise your workload, delegate to the appropriate people, and ensure that everything goes to plan, all tasks are completed, and any surprises are effectively managed.

How to manage people

As well as being ‘in charge’ and leading from the front, leaders and managers have to understand their team, as a whole and as individuals, and how to meet their needs as well as expecting a high standard from them in the workplace. Managing people can be challenging, particularly if you’re new to a senior position – so you’ll learn, in practice and in theory, how to handle complex situations, how to communicate in challenging times, and how to inspire and guide your team.

Project Management

Knowing what to do, when, and in what order can seem overwhelming – so we’ll teach you to break a project down into smaller tasks, understand how to prioritise and delegate, and plan for every eventuality, ensuring that no balls get dropped and nothing is left unfinished on your watch!


Business relies on profit – and keeping track of this profit, the costs of running a business, the income brought in, and the accounting of all those figures is something you’ll have to understand, even if the accounting itself is carried out by someone else; an understanding of the figures and how they are impacted by the performance of your team is a vital component in successful leadership.

Problem Solving

Sometimes things don’t go entirely to plan – and it’s up to you to find a way through the situation; problem solving can mean anything from rearranging a rota to dealing with angry customers, and anything in between – and you need to learn how to keep your cool and break the situation down so that you can handle it.


Key to great leadership is understanding your own strengths and weaknesses – and those of everyone in your team, so that you can work as a cohesive whole to be sure that everything is done well. It isn’t your job as leader to be bigger, better and louder than your team – it’s your job to understand how everyone functions together, and this means that self-awareness is a key skill.

As you can see, there’s a lot to learn but don’t worry; we are there for every step of the process, and we work with the organisation you work for to create a supportive network of people who will guide you through the learning process, support you in applying what you learn to the workplace, and answer any questions or concerns you might have as the learning progresses.

Call us today, or download our guide, to learn more about the courses we run, and why they are right for you.

It’s never too late to be an Apprentice

Apprenticeships are something that many think of as belonging to the young – as courses that teenagers and young people do to train for their chosen career – but we’re here to tell you that professional qualifications are for everyone, including you.

At any age, at any stage in your career, an ILM Level 3 or 5 Diploma for Leaders and Managers is designed to be the next step up the ladder, expanding on your experience and existing knowledge and offering you a nationally recognised qualification in management.

Apprenticeships might be a word that comes with a stigma, bringing with it associations with young people, poor pay and dodgy practitioners offering certificates that don’t mean much outside of their own organisation – but those days are far behind us, and we can guarantee that the qualifications we offer are formally accredited by the ILM – the Institute of Leadership and Management – and no matter what industry you are in, the qualifications are a recognised and respected mark of your qualifications for any leadership or management position.

Not only that, but you don’t have to take a career break, or step down to a low-paid role to pursue the qualification – you can learn in-role in any leadership or management position, or in your current role in order to progress to a higher level, meaning you can earn as you learn.

You can see from our ‘how we do it’ page that we tailor your learning to your needs – shaping your course around the role you’re in or aiming for, and fitting your learning into your existing workload, making it fully experiential – i.e. you’re learning by doing, and are tested on what you’ve already achieved.

You can come to us independently, funding your own learning – or you can access the course through your employer, who can take advantage of the Government’s Levy Funding, which covers the cost of the training, and offers you access to professional support and training to further your career at no cost to yourself.

When you consider that the benefits of studying for the ILM Level 3 or 5 Diploma for Leaders and Managers include promotion, better understanding of your skills and position as a leader, and an increased ability to perform in that role, helping to further the careers of the team around you and improving the organisation you are employed by, and factor in that the training comes with wrap-around support, Levy funding and the knowledge that you can learn in the job you’re already in, improving your abilities and knowledge without needing to lose your income, apprenticeships suddenly seem very appealing.

Call us today on  03300 241336 to discover more, or download our guides for full details of the Level 3 and Level 5 courses.