Why choose an apprenticeship over university? | EEF

Why choose an apprenticeship over university?

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Not sure if university is the right choice for you? Hundreds of future manufacturing and engineering professionals have found that apprenticeships are an attractive alternative.


Every year thousands of young people face difficult choices about what to do about their futures. And while university is often seen as the default choice after school, it isn’t necessarily the right path for many.

EEF has helped hundreds of people begin their manufacturing and engineering careers through apprenticeships, offering our students hands-on learning and excellent future prospects for employment.

“I knew I wanted to do something in engineering, but I didn’t want to get into debt while not really knowing exactly what it was I wanted. During my apprenticeship I’ve been guided and helped to find what is best suited for me, all while earning.”

- Hayden Boyle, 2nd year apprentice

So what are the differences to consider? 




Get on-the-job training and mentorship at a company that wants to employ you for the long term


 Little to no on-the-job experience, must go through job hunt and recruitment process

Mix of classroom and hands-on learning


Almost exclusively classroom and test-based learning

Achieve qualifications required by your industry and workplace


Often require additional tests and training to achieve job-specific qualifications

No tuition fees or students loans necessary


The typical UK university graduate accrues £20-44,000 in student loans by the time they graduate and many are still paying them off decades later

Chance to earn while you learn

Apprentices can make between £140 and £210 per week


No income


EEF trains hundreds of engineering apprentices every year at our world-class facilities in Aston. See some of our current vacancies to get a flavour of where you could be working as an apprentice.

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