Degree Apprenticeships Insight Evening

Degree Apprenticeships Insight Evening

We were delighted to welcome over 70 families to the Degree Apprenticeship Information evening, which was held on Monday 25 September. The evening was designed to give those who attended a whistle-stop tour of the amazing world of apprenticeships and why they are serious contenders as an alternative for a more traditional university route.

We were joined by OC (2021) Husayn Moosa, who talked about his experiences as an degree apprentice with Grant Thornton and how he used the  CaterhamConnected network to help him with his preparation. He knew that university wasn’t the route for him and had researched many business-related apprenticeship programmes before he settled on accounting and finance. Husayn is on a level 7 accounting and finance pathway which will take him five years to complete. He is currently in his third year as an audit associate, and he is thoroughly enjoying his journey to gaining his final accounting qualifications in 2026 when he is guaranteed employment with the company provided, he passes his final set of exams! He talked about how the last two years have been a steep learning curve where he has learnt a new language, that of finance.  He also explained that students should be under no illusion that this was an easy route – studying and working full time needs careful planning and, at very busy times, often means you are working long hours, but the starting salary of £25,000, the fact that you have no student debt and the support you are given, makes everything achievable. However, despite all the hard work, Husayn says he wouldn’t want to do anything else. It has been an amazing journey so far and he has developed as a person, built connections and learnt about the commercial world in ways a traditional university route would not have given him.

Making applications for these roles is also highly competitive and because companies close schemes when they have achieved their required numbers, so it is vital to keep on top of deadlines. Unlike applying to university, there is no central admissions system, you have to apply to each individual organisation and the deadlines for applications vary across the academic year. The process is also very similar to that of graduate recruitment and can take up to six months to complete. All start with some form of online application which is then followed by a raft of assessment tests. If you achieve the required scores, you then move on to the next stages which can include short online or recorded interviews or presentations, a group assessment day and a formal interview, before receiving an offer of employment.

Mrs Brown concluded the evening explaining the Access to Success programme that she runs each Tuesday after school. This was set up four years ago to support those who were considering this route and features a wide range of speakers, both internal and external, covering all aspects of the process, from research to understanding who you are to tackling application forms and mock interviews and assessment exercises. Anyone in the Sixth Form considering these amazing roles should be attending regularly and should see Mrs Brown for more information.

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