Apprenticeships - General Business

Going to university and pursuing a degree is not the only option available to bright students. With the significant cost of a degree combined with its potential devaluation, you may want at least to consider your options. There are a number of firms offering very attractive School Leaver Programmes. These are well paid and you may find run parallel to many graduate schemes. They have the attraction of being less competitive at A level entry, therefore gaining you entry into an organisation that you may struggle to secure as a graduate, when the competition is fiercer. You will also be debt free. These schemes are becoming increasingly popular with employers.

Schemes include:

Business Administration: Atos Apprenticeship

atosAtos offer a business admin apprenticeship in operations or customer service, based in Biirmingham. Its a 18-24 month programme. You’ll develop some of the most essential business skills around. You’ll develop an understanding of how businesses are structured, the principles and role of business ethics, how to manage resources and people to deliver business benefits, as well as understanding how to plan and deliver organisational change. You’ll learn the tools and techniques of business and risk analysis and how to apply the correct analytical techniques to get the best results. Just as importantly, you’ll develop your soft skills, including how to plan, and lead effective meetings, negotiation in a business environment, and developing effective business relationships.

Qualifications you will achieve as part of your Business Administration Apprenticeship

  • City & Guilds Level 4 Diploma in Business and Professional Administration
  • Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Business Administration

Business: EDF Energy Commercial & Business Apprenticeship

EDF Energy offer a number of apprenticeships which include both commercial and business programmes. 

Commercial Apprenticeship

Hinkley Point C (HPC) will be the first in a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK. Construction and all supporting activities will be carried out by a large and diverse supply chain overseen by a project team. The Commercial function within the HPC Project Team is responsible for the placement and management of all of the contracts required to construct and commission the plant. This includes pre-contract procurement activities; managing tendering processes; contract negotiations and subsequent post contract commercial management.

Whats involved?

The HPC Commercial Apprenticeship Programme will instil all the qualities and skills required to kick-start your career as a commercial professional with EDF Energy and the HPC project. You will spend 5 years learning from experts as part of the apprenticeship and, as well as getting valuable real world experience, you will study for a university level qualification. You can expect on-the-job training, classroom learning and the kind of practical experience you simply can’t get on a university campus.

During the apprenticeship you’ll also be working towards attaining membership of a professional body, which demonstrates to the supply chain and peers that you work to the highest professional and ethical standards. With support you’ll study for a Construction and the Built Environment HND at Bridgwater College and then a Construction and Quantity Surveying Degree at University of the West of England (UWE).

At the end of the apprenticeship you will move into a permanent role in the Commercial team with responsibility for managing your own portfolio of contracts.

During the apprenticeship you will work in the central Bristol office, with opportunities to work at other EDF Energy NNB locations and with supply chain partners.

Block and day release training will be at Bridgwater College (years 1 and 2) and the University West of England (years 3-5).

You will require:

  • A National Certificate/Diploma in a business related programme with a merit profile, or
  • A National Certificate/Diploma in a construction/engineering discipline with a merit profile, or
  • A Levels, equivalent to 120 UCAS points
  • Applicants will usually also require at least 4 GCSE passes (at grade C or above), including Maths and English or their Level 2 equivalents

Business Apprenticeship

This training programme designed to power your career within the energy industry. Upon completion of the scheme you will have gained valuable experience within the UK’s leading generator and supplier of low carbon energy.  It is 24 to 36 months in duration, and combines formal training provided by external education providers and EDF Energy, with hands-on experience gained from your day to day role. Consisting of a number of rotations between three and six months long, the scheme is designed to give an insight into different parts of the Central Support functions.

Opportunities often exist within the Central Technical Organisation in Nuclear Generation based in Barnwood, Gloucester. Business Apprenticeships focus on the commercial and non-technical aspects of support to operational sites. You will have the opportunity to develop commercial skills and have the opportunity to travel to various power stations throughout the UK. This may also include a 12 week attachment to a power station where you’ll get first-hand experience of life at an operational site.


  • At least three A-Levels (or equivalent) at grade C or above
  • Genuine interest in nuclear energy
  • Desire to learn and to develop your skills

Business: Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Apprenticeships

fca The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the conduct regulator for 56,000 financial services firms and financial markets in the UK and the prudential regulator for over 24,000 of those firms. Theyare an independent public body funded by the firms they regulate, by charging them fees. They are accountable to the Treasury, which is responsible for the UK’s financial system, and to Parliament.

Their apprenticeships offer you a 14-18 month opportunity to take part in key aspects of day-to-day work, develop new skills and gain an industry leading qualification while you earn. They look for passion and integrity as well as ambition and aptitude. You don't need previous work experience, but you will need to have attained 5 GCSEs (A-C) and 2 A-Levels.

At the FCA you'll have the opportunity to make a difference, finding out how markets work, learning in detail how they develop and implement regulation and seeing how a wide variety of businesses function.

FCA have offices in London and Edinburgh. 

Business: MBDA Higher Apprenticeship

mbdaMBDA. Europe’s leading guided weapons company offer you a fantastic opportunity to build a rewarding career, whilst supporting you at either Bolton University (Lostock) or University of Hertfordshire (Stevenage). They will pay for up to 50% of your examination fees as part of the programme, as well as you receiving an annual salary and company benefits. 

This four-year programme is a superb opportunity for someone who has achieved or is expecting to achieve 300 UCAS points or more, and who wishes to combine work and study for an honours degree in Business Studies.

You will develop skills in areas such as; Procurement, Supply Chain, UK & Export Contracts and Business Forecasting & Pricing. You will be based in Stevenage. 

Business: Microsoft Apprenticeships

microsoft logoMicrosoft offer a range of apprenticeships from business to technical. They will provide training, fund your studies and you will work towards a nationally recognised qualification, whilst working and earning a salary. They take students from 16-24. 

Business: Nestle Confectionary Higher Apprenticeship

nestlesNestle offers a confectionary degree apprenticeship based in York. The apprenticeships are a mixture of studies and on the job training. 

The Higher Apprenticeship programme reveals the secrets behind Nestlé’s world-renowned range of brands and puts you at the heart of creating the confectionery that we’ll be consuming in the future. Food manufacturing expertise is integral to this programme, and Nestle are committed to showing you how to create quality food products in a safe and efficient food manufacturing environment.

In partnership with the National Centre of Food Manufacturing, part of the University of Lincoln, your three year apprenticeship will be a blend of distance learning and block release. And what’s more Nestlé will pay 100% of your Apprenticeship training while providing an attractive rewards package.

You’ll need:

  • 2 A Levels (excluding General Studies) or equivalent qualifications — one A Level must be Maths or Science
  • 5 GCSEs or equivalent at Grades A*–C (including a B or above in Maths and English)

Business: Nomura HR, Operations and Real Estate/Services Apprenticeships.

nomuraNomura provides a number of apprenticeships. These include one in Human Respurces, a 2nd in Operations and another in Real Estatae and Services.

Human Resources. They currently offer HR apprentices in the following areas:

HR Advisor - The HR Advisory teams cover Nomura’s three core divisions: Global Markets, Investment Banking and Corporate Infrastructure. This role involves working in conjunction with HR Advisors to deliver solutions, advising managers on handling performance, absence, and other concerns, and supporting the Year-End Compensation process, amongst other projects.

HR Analyst Centre - The HR Analyst Team is responsible for managing the workflow of employee lifecycle activities between the strategic HR Advisor teams and the HR administrator team. The role requires interaction with HR colleagues and clients across the whole company and at all levels. The HR Analyst Team also supports the Graduate Recruitment and Program Teams with the regular in-take of Graduates and Interns.

Learning and Development – This role sits within the EMEA Talent Team, directly supporting the Leadership & Development team. This role plays a critical part in ensuring that all Leadership & Development activities are executed to the highest standard. Key capabilities in this role are interpersonal skills, a drive for efficiency and effectiveness in execution, and a continuous improvement mind-set.


Real Estate and Services. The role is based within the Health, Safety & Environmental team, providing support and assistance in delivering environmental services across the Nomura EMEA region. As an apprentice in this team you will be involved in:

  • Assisting with maintaining the company environmental management system
  • Supporting with the coordination of best practice meetings and workshops
  • Monitoring environmental legislative changes and providing briefings and actions
  • Liaising with environmental staff at other company locations (eg Tokyo)
  • Assisting with the daily operations of the Real Estate & Services team

Operations: As an Operations Apprentice you will work to support the business and be involved in:

  • Processing, controlling, confirming and settling transactions
  • Researching and troubleshooting problems such as resolving booking issues and cash breaks
  • Documenting process flows and creating procedure manuals for the functions performed
  • Reviewing current processes and procedures for improvements, reduce risks and increase controls
  • Assisting with client service initiativesBuilding successful relationships with colleagues in Mumbai

Business: Unilever Higher Apprenticeships

unileverUnilever offer a number of higher apprenticeships. Roles are offered in Business & Technology, R&D and Supply Chain & Engineering. If you look in your fridge, or on the bathroom shelf, you’re bound to see one of Unilever's well-known brands. They create, market and distribute the products that people choose to feed their families and keep themselves and their homes clean and fresh. Brands such as Ben & Jerrys, Persil, Cif and Dove belong to Unilever. 

An apprenticeship in the area of Business & Technology at Unilever is a springboard to a career in a corporate office environment. Working under the guidance of a dedicated line manager, you will gain the technical knowledge and skills you need to succeed through a combination of real, practical experience and formal training. Whether you want to kick-start your career in Administration, IT or Project Management, Unilever’s opportunities allow you to gain invaluable experience in a global and diverse company. The higher apprenticeships academic requirments for the business & technology roles are:
  • At least five GCSE A-C grades (or equivalent) including English, Maths and ideally ICT
  • At least two A Levels (or equivalent) 

Locations include London, Kingston, Leatherhead or Port Sunlight. 

Business:Compass Group Apprenticeships

compass groupCompass Group are a large group producing healthy food, and hosptality. They work behind the scenes at sports and leisure events, schools, hospotals, oil rigs, military bases, hospitals and boardrooms to name a few. They offer a number of Higher Apprenticeships, where you can study for a degree level qualification, across the following areas:

  • Culniary - Chefs School
  • Digital Marketing
  • HR
  • Leadership
  • Customer Services
  • Barrista
  • Business Administration
  • IT
  • Retail
  • Accounting
  • Security

Information Services: Experian Higher Apprenticeship in Business Administration

experianExperian is a leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian offer an Apprenticeship in Business Administration in their UK&I in Nottingham. You will be rotated around the business into call centre and support based roles. You could be placed in one of these teams:

  • Customer Support: Administration
  • Customer Support: Phone support
  • Verifier Teams
  • Production Support

On joining the programme you are offered a comprehensive induction with full training for your first role before starting your apprenticeship – with paid study release to attend college classes.

As a minimum you need CCC at A Level or equivalent, plus GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above. You also need excellent written, verbal and listening communication skills, strong IT skills, confidence in talking to customers, high acheiving and well organised. 

Project Management: Atos Higher Level Apprenticeship

atosAtos serves a global client base, and provides Consulting & Systems Integration services, Managed Services, Cloud operations, Big Data & Cyber-security solutions. They offer a level 4 Project Management apprenticeship 2 A levels are required and a strong inteest in IT. 

During this 18-24 months programme which is based in Guildford, London or Milton Keynes, you'll gain exposure to and support the management of key projects, from start to finish. You’ll also enjoy the guidance and training you need to quickly develop into a confident and capable professional – ready to plan, analyse and execute successfully.

They teach and assess these skills to an industry standard, while ensuring you're able to apply them on the job:

  • business case
  • Project Scope
  • Planning & Analysis
  • Finance, risk and resource management
  • stakeholder communications

The scheme offers a blend of learning and putting your skills to the test -– so you’ll spend time both training, and on the job, cementing your new skills to memory.


Project Management: GSK Higher Apprenticeship

glaxGSK offer a number of apprenticeships, including one in project managment. As a Project Management apprentice, you will gain a strong understanding of the skills and knowledge involved in planning and executing high quality projects. 

You will develop a rounded knowledge base to support all aspects of project and programme management from capital investment to business change.

Day to day activities can include:

  • Assisting the management of a programme of up to 15 projects to aid their successful delivery
  • Using a mix of industry standard and GSK specific software, tools and processes to ensure projects are run efficiently and safely.
  • Engaging with a wide range of people across the business
  • Learning about how pharmaceutical products are made
  • Leading and supporting as well as training and coaching other people.

The Project Management higher apprenticeship is a three-year programme based at the GSK Ware manufacturing site. You will study towards a Level 4 qualification.

Entry Qualifications:

To be eligible for the Project Management higher apprenticeship programme, you will need:

  • a minimum of five GCSEs or equivalent at grade C or above (including English language (not literature) and maths (or equivalent)
  • 2 A-levels at grade C or above (or equivalent).

Project Management: Royal Mail Apprenticeship

royal mailRoyal Mail offers a Project management apprenticeship scheme. This 2 year scheme involves a series of placements. 

Working alongside experienced project managers, you’ll learn how to figure out what a given project would involve, in terms of time, money and expertise. If it makes sense from a financial and business point of view, you’ll go on to create a project plan, pulling together the right team and resources to make it all happen.

With time dedicated to class-based study with their specialist training partner, you’ll work towards an NVQ Level 4 in Project Management. And at the end of the programme, you’ll also be a member of the Association of Project Managers.

To apply you need, a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above (including Maths, English and Science), plus two A levels (or equivalent).

Road Space Design & Management: Transport For London School Leaver Programme

transport of londonTransport for London are responsible for a massive and diverse transport network including tubes, buses, cabs, riverboats, cable cars, coaches, trains, trams and push bikes. They offer a 4 year programme in road space design and management. It provides practical experience of designing, delivering and analysing schemes for London’s roads

The Programme

You can expect to get involved in delivering world-class engineering solutions, using pioneering modelling software.

• Working on innovative traffic schemes to improve pedestrian access

• Helping to design highway schemes, with specialist engineering insight

• Making new advances at the forefront of cycle safety

• Using world leading systems for traffic control and signalling

• Modelling traffic using complex software, to predict what we need to do next

• Working at the heart of real-time signal control, providing traffic engineering support in the London Streets Traffic Control Centre

• Analysing and interpreting road network performance

• Designing and developing products to transform data into intelligence and business reports

Where does it lead?

Depending on what interests you and how you progress, the Programme could open doors to a range of different career paths. This could include Traffic Control Engineer, Traffic Analyst, GIS Officer, Business Intelligence Analyst, Design engineer. 

Qualifications required:

• 3 A Levels at grade C or above, or an equivalent Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma

• The above qualifications should be in technical or numerate subjects or social sciences

• GCSEs in English Language and Mathematics, both at grade B or above

Trading: BP Supply & Trading School Leaver Programme

bplogoBP.  The supply and trading school leaver programme is an alternative to university that provides you with the relevant skills and experiences needed to succeed in a business role. You will receive the appropriate development needed to be a high performing and valued employee. They look for school leavers with A-Level ABB or above grades, International Baccalaureate 27 or above or a BTEC Extended Diploma DDM or above along with the determination and passion it takes to flourish.

The programme offers:

  • A 5 year structured training and development programme.
  • Four job rotations in front office roles and have the opportunity to be involved in a wide range of commercial activity in oil, gas and shipping sectors such as:
    • Analysing Market Data.
    • Working with Product Control.
    • Supporting operations team on a trading bench.
    • Working with the derivatives marketing team.
    • Supporting commercial trading as part of a financial team.
  • A buddy and a mentor will be assigned to you to help support and advise you on your desired career path.
  • BP will work with you to determine the best career path that could take you into commercial operations, trading or other parts of supply and trading.

At the end of the 5 year programme we will help you secure a permanent role in the organization in your chosen occupation. Alternatively, for those interested in a career in trading you will have the opportunity to become a trader.

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