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to think apprenticeships shouldn't require 3 A Levels at A*/B?

(84 Posts)
Freddorika Tue 21-Feb-17 10:20:41

Looking at alternatives to university for dd1. She's interested in Law and Business. I've just had two apprenticeships sent through to me by her school. The paralegal apprenticeship requires 3 A Levels at A*/B and the Business apprenticeship requires 128 UCAS points so approx ABB.

If she was predicted to get A*, A B she would be going to university!!

DJBaggySmalls Tue 21-Feb-17 10:22:48

Sorry but for areas such as law or medicine YABU to expect lower standards to be acceptable. They cant be.

WorraLiberty Tue 21-Feb-17 10:24:25

Would she struggle though with any less, do you think?

CasperGutman Tue 21-Feb-17 10:24:27

I'm surprised that there are apprenticeships with such high entry requirements, but perhaps it's no bad thing. After all, there are degree courses with a very broad range of requirements, including many which are accessible to those with less glittering academic records.

Hopefully a few more cases like this could help to break the British prejudice that apprenticeships and vocational qualifications are for young people who can't cut it on academic courses!

Freddorika Tue 21-Feb-17 10:25:20

It's not medicine. and its not a route to becoming a JC.

Its a paralegal and a trading position!

BalloonSlayer Tue 21-Feb-17 10:25:47

There are different levels of apprenticeships.

The ones you have mentioned are for candidates who would be suitable for university but who don't want to end up with £27k worth of debt when they get their degree, so are considering alternatives. In the past a paralegal would have got a degree first before getting a job.

There will be plenty of other apprenticeships with more practical requirements - keep looking!

ClashCityRocker Tue 21-Feb-17 10:26:37

We offer accountancy and tax apprenticeships at our firm - similar requirements. There is a degree of flexibility - if they've had decent work experience, particularly at our firm, we would consider less than stellar results.

I guess the thinking in our instance is that they have to undertake very tough professional exams, so do need to be fairly academic. Most people consider ACCA, which would be the natural route after AAT, for example, tougher than a degree.

I believe it's more aimed at people who could go to university, but chose not to, rather than those who didn't meet the requirements.

BalloonSlayer Tue 21-Feb-17 10:27:12

Have a look here.

Freddorika Tue 21-Feb-17 10:28:46

so its crazy she could go to uni with 3 Ds (she is predicted BCC) , get a degree and then become a paralegal!

But to miss out uni and save money you need better A levels?!

peukpokicuzo Tue 21-Feb-17 10:31:05

Professional apprenticeships are probably more demanding than degrees and include degree-level study and examinations as well as a demanding workload.

Apprenticeships for more manual vocations won't have the same sort of entry requirements.

BalloonSlayer Tue 21-Feb-17 10:33:17

It does seem mad but the company will be paying the Uni fees for the employee so they want to make absolutely sure they are up to it so they don't waste their investment.

For the Uni student - pay your £9000 first year fees, decide you don't like it, or can't cope, leave, the Uni keeps your money and the only loser is you.

Shame, but that's how it is.

ClashCityRocker Tue 21-Feb-17 10:34:33

Depends on what degree she gets - nowadays, with a 2.2 it's a lot trickier to get on a grad scheme. Even a 2.1 competition is fierce.

University isn't a guarantee of any job, nowadays, if it ever was.

There will be apprenticeships open to her. They may not necessarily be the higher level ones such as law and accountancy as these are in general aimed at people who would otherwise be going to university - although if she can get two bs I suspect that would broaden her options somewhat.

There's also some who don't have formal apprenticeship schemes but will consider taking on keen candidates with an interest and a bit of relevant work experience post a-level. I would suggest she write to local firms expressing an interest, even if it's just for work experience.

Freddorika Tue 21-Feb-17 10:34:56

But with a degree you have more flexibility in your career.

It seems a shame.

MrsJayy Tue 21-Feb-17 10:43:52

Your Dd would be studying and the company are putting a lot of money into this scheme the demand might be high but they need serious candidates, people scoff at Apprentiships as if they are lesser than university but they can be in line and the kids are on the job too.

hellsbells99 Tue 21-Feb-17 10:44:47

Going to university isn't meant to be better than doing an apprenticeship at the higher level. It is just a different route to gaining qualifications.
My DH went through an apprenticeship at 16 (so not a Higher level one) and it was a lot harder because he was combining working with studying.
My friends DD got an accountancy one with 3 Bs but said she was lucky as this year they have raised the threshold to ABB.
Good luck to your DD in finding the right one for her.

Freddorika Tue 21-Feb-17 10:46:56


I can see why the companies involved want the vanity of saying A*s

But you can get into the same companies with degrees that you only need CCC for.

alltouchedout Tue 21-Feb-17 10:48:40

It's frustrating. When I worked in Connexions, in a deprived rural area, we were constantly finding that the apprenticeship option that was sold as giving less academic young people a route into decent work just didn't do that. The requirements were often as high as or exceeding those for a college course. There are different types of apprenticeship and it's right that there should be- but I really wish there were more accessible routes into training and qualifications for kids who could do the jobs really well but will always struggle to get good GCSEs or A Levels.

namechangingagainagain Tue 21-Feb-17 10:51:17

I actually don't think its a bad thing for some ( obviously not all) apprenticeships to be like this. We are saddling our young people with huge amounts of debt because they feel if they are clever there is no other route into employment.
This helps break down the stigma of not going down the traditional a levels- uni- job route for those who don't want to start their lives with debt but do want to have interesting careers.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 21-Feb-17 10:51:36

Higher Apprenticeships are not for people who can't get into uni, they are an alternative to university and therefore require the brightest and the best candidates hence the high academic requirements.

Law is particularly obsessed with academic grades but other industries like professional services (EY, Deloitte etc) are moving away from high academic thresholds to take a more rounded view.

I'm amazed you would think roles that pay £20k per annum to train and churn out qualified professionals often a year before the grads might be an easier option?! They are highly desirable positions.

FenellaMaxwellsPony Tue 21-Feb-17 10:56:24

*I can see why the companies involved want the vanity of saying A*s

But you can get into the same companies with degrees that you only need CCC for.*

Yes, but you would have put in 3 years' work at university that would raise your academic standard so you still wouldn't be a CCC candidate by the time you went into the company.

Freddorika Tue 21-Feb-17 10:58:47

I wouldn't say being a paralegal or a trader are particularly highly desirable tbh. The average salary for a fully qualified paralegal is about £20k. There's an ad for an assistant store manager in a homestore near me that pays more than that. Trading is well paid but has NEVER been the home of the academically minded!

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 21-Feb-17 10:59:11

I think you have fundamentally misunderstood the point of High Apprenticeships and the competition.

Your looking at a difference of £60,000 income vs a similar level of debt. Of course the employer can and should be choosy - they are offering an amazing opportunity!

Freddorika Tue 21-Feb-17 11:00:24

You may not get the debt with a higher apprenticeship but you are effectively owned by the company who pay your fees.

lanabythebeach Tue 21-Feb-17 11:00:44

Have you looked at legal executive training?

Freddorika Tue 21-Feb-17 11:01:08


paralegals do not earn 60k

have you actually read my OP and which apprenticeships I am talking about?

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