Discovering Workplus was really refreshing

By Oscar Daly

I started to think about becoming an apprentice when I was entering Year 13. I considered leaving school after GSCE’s but I decided to stay on and do my A Levels so I could complete a degree apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships weren’t a very popular career path in my school. In total I only knew around 5 people in my year group that considered and applied. Having the GCSE and A Level results required for going down the university route made it seem like the obvious choice, however, whenever I looked into apprenticeships and all the benefits they offered it was clear to me this was the route I wanted to take. 

I was questioned by my friends and family who stereotyped apprenticeships as the lesser route to go down in comparison to university but once I explained to them all the benefits such as a salary, healthcare, and hands–on education they are now more on board with apprenticeships than full–time university!

I started to apply for apprenticeships when I was in Year 14. I wanted to apply for as many opportunities as possible to increase my chances of securing a great place. I found the process of completing different application forms very draining especially as it was only 4 weeks before my A Level exams. Discovering Workplus was really refreshing.  It was just one application form that was simple, straightforward and easy–to–do and you could apply for as many companies and positions as you liked.

There are many benefits to being an apprentice; you have a salary, company benefits, four days a week of work experience and one day at university which is paid for!


The biggest benefit of completing an apprenticeship is how much you can learn. 


In my first month at Instil we went through an intensive training program; it was great to understand the language and processes they used. The knowledge I gained from the training was much more vast than what I accumulated in my 2 years of A Levels and was incredibly valuable. If you can learn that much in 5 weeks, imagine how much you could learn in 4 years! 

This apprenticeship will definitely give me a head start over other graduates.

I believe I am able to do things now that university students don’t necessarily have the ability to do just yet. Earning while learning gives me the freedom to spend my money on fun activities like going on holiday and out for dinner with friends. My set routine of a 9 to 5 job, 4 days a week, allows me to plan my social life with certainty of when I will be available. What’s more, unlike many university students, I don’t need to work a part–time job at the weekends to fund my social life which gives me more free time to enjoy.

In my experience, I don’t think I have missed out on full time ‘university life’. I am still able to go out at the weekends or when I am off work. By doing a Higher Level Apprenticeship, I believe you can still live the ‘university life’ but you aren’t having to live the bad aspects of it.

Being an apprentice at Instil is great because they really look after you. In my first week I was supplied with a Mac book pro, given a private healthcare package and invited on a company ski trip. We were also given the freedom to spend a hardware budget to enable us to work from home; I was able to buy myself a new monitor lots of the best equipment for my desk.

I feel there is a lot of autonomy at Instil; I was given the freedom to complete tasks as I saw fit with the support and assistance from my colleagues. A real highlight for me was the collaborative project with the other apprentices, graduates, and placement students where we had the opportunity to create and present our demo. It was satisfying to develop a project from start to finish and to showcase our hard work to the company.

In my opinion, an apprenticeship is a much better deal than university. You are getting the same university qualification with no debt, four years of experience and being paid a salary. For me, the financial and educational benefits to an apprenticeship are much greater than university.




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