The Top Five Best Apprenticeships in the UK 2016

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Following the UK Government's introduction of new apprenticeship schemes, there are now more apprenticeships out there than ever before. But how do you know which one is right for you? Of course, everyone has their own career interests but we thought we'd compile a list of our best apprenticeships to give you an overview of what's out there.

'The Top Five Best Apprenticeships in the UK in 2016'

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Before you begin reading though, take a look at this infographic below from the Industry Apprenticeship Council, which provides some interesting survey results about apprenticeships in the UK:


One of the most popular choices out there, engineering apprenticeships are one of the highest paying. Engineering itself is a wide-ranging field and you can find yourself working as an architectural, chemical, civil or electrical engineer, to name a few. There are also a large number of mechanical engineering apprenticeships in the UK with motor companies. Rolls Royce has been running one of the best school leaver programmes for the last 4 years and in 2015, recruited 300 people on to its scheme, which lasts for 5 years.

Similarly, aerospace company BAE Systems, based in London offers one of the best apprenticeship schemes in the UK and recruits over 400 apprentices each year. It's also the UK’s biggest employer of professional engineers with 18,000 employees in total. Take a look at this video from the Association for Project Management which interviews an apprentice from BAE Systems:

BAE Systems are one of the largest providers of engineering apprenticeships in the UK


One of the fastest-growing industries in the UK, the energy sector offers a range of apprenticeship schemes for school leavers. You could find yourself working as a renewable energy engineer, a geologist, hydrologist (the study of water) or even a chemist. Some of the best apprenticeships in energy are in environmental and agricultural fields where you could find yourself working as an ecologist, a tree surgeon or an environmental scientist.

One of the largest providers of apprenticeships in the UK is the National Grid. They offer apprenticeships and engineer training programmes over a range of fields including electrical and instrumentation, emergency response, gas operations and power system design. 


The financial sector in the UK is huge, so it's no surprise that there's an abundance of financial apprenticeships on offer in the UK. If you're good with numbers, then you could find yourself working as an investment banker, a stockbroker, research analyst or fund manager, all of which are very high paying jobs once you're qualified. Take a look at this video from the Financial Skills Partnership that interviews four former apprentices in the financial sector and asks how an apprenticeship has benefited them:

There's a breadth of skills to be learned from an apprenticeship in finance

Some of the best apprenticeships in finance include those offered by PwC, and you can apply for these here on our website. If you're interested in a career in accountancy, finance or consulting, PWC offers you the opportunity to gain new skills, study and get paid for the work you do. Likewise, M&G Investments offer a 12-18 month apprenticeship scheme for school leavers where you'll be working towards an NVQ. Banking firm JP Morgan first launched their scheme in 2013 and offer apprenticeships in HR, derivatives, banking operations and corporate risk.

Customer service

Customer service might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to apprenticeships but there are many opportunities out there if you have good interpersonal and communication skills. As a customer service apprentice, you'll be working in a customer-facing role, ensuring that enquiries and complaints are handled appropriately.

Most customer service apprenticeships are found in the retail and financial services, where you could find yourself working in a store, a call centre, or an office environment. One of the largest retail apprenticeships in the UK is offered by Boots. The pharmacy offers two different schemes and a salary of up to £15,000 per year.

Team leadership and management

With an average hourly wage of  £9.11 per hour, leadership and management schemes are among the highest paying you'll find. You could find yourself working as a team leaders, supervisor or floor manager in a number of different industries. The skills that you will learn on this type of scheme will be transferable to a number of different companies in the public and private sector.

Typically, you'll be trained in how to manage people, monitor progress, budget and deal with conflict.

More about apprenticeships

What is a higher apprenticeship?

Degree apprenticeships: What are they and are they for me?

What are school leaver programmes?

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