The difference between these types of programmes and just getting an ordinary job is that there usually won’t be the training schedule, qualifications to be gained or progression infrastructure in the same way.
These programmes are a launch pad into an advanced career level, which is why they are so sought after!
Here is a brief guide to each type, but check each company’s specifications because they will vary enormously.
School Leaver Programmes
A school leaver programme is a fixed term, paid job available to students after sixth form which provides an intensive, structured training programme and in some cases formal professional qualifications.
Corporate firms are sponsoring some degree courses which offer a direct route into a graduate job via university. The firm pays for the degree course on the condition that the student works for them during their holidays and after they graduate for a fixed period. These programmes are perfect for students who want to combine work and study, and willing to forego their summer holidays. Students should be aware that in some cases they may not be eligible for loans or grants from the government.
An apprenticeship is usually referred to as a job in a vocational industry where young people can train while you earn money from the age of 16 in careers as diverse as nursing, engineering, finance and carpentry. Confusingly, some professional school leaver programmes are also known as apprenticeships!
These are paid apprenticeships that give you the chance to progress academically to degree level (such as NVQ levels 4&5, Foundation Degrees, HNCs or HNDs) through practical work experience.