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Think different: modern and graduate apprenticeships

Most school-leavers will admit to being completely in the dark about their post-school options beyond the simple, binary choice of going straight into employment or going to university. But the opportunities open to you are much richer and more diverse than that.


A few people may still have a distorted image of apprentices as teenagers in ill-fitting overalls carrying spanners, but that concept is as outdated as typing pools and smoking in the office.

Apprenticeships are widely recognised for their excellence in launching successful careers. They are a way of working towards a qualification in a recognised trade or skill by learning on the job, through hands-on experience, with an employer.

There are more than 100 different Modern Apprenticeships available in Scotland today. These are open to all students who have taken Highers and cover trades and professions from science, IT and fashion to engineering and renewable energy. In England and Wales there are over 1500 apprenticeship roles available today, so the sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing your ideal career in the energy industry.

And the apprenticeship system works really well: more than 90% of apprentices remain in work six months after becoming qualified. So perhaps it’s not surprising to see a growing number of both oil and gas and renewable energy companies offering apprenticeships - opportunities really are limitless, and importantly, geared up to suit a wide range of personalities and passions. The Oil and Gas Technical Apprenticeship Programme could be a great starting point to learn more about some of the apprenticeship opportunities that are available.


As the name suggests, Graduate Apprenticeships (Scotland) or Degree Apprenticeships (England and Wales) combine work-based learning as an employee with studying at university for your degree. Often, it’s one day a week at university along with four days in the workplace. At other times, it may be block release or online learning modules as well.

It’s a great way to combine theoretical learning with real-world practical experience. Plus, you get paid a salary instead of having to take out a student loan and pay tuition fees.

While you complete your degree, you’ll likely be on a full-time contract, with benefits, with the offer of a full-time job on completion of your apprenticeship. Around 80% of graduate apprentices stay with the same company that sponsored them through their degree programme.

Find out more about the exciting options and opportunities for building your ideal future career at