Your Ultimate Guide to a Career in Business & Management

Some of the biggest companies are looking for big thinkers, self-starters, and entrepreneurial spirit.

If you are the type of person who strives for organisation and logic, are adaptable and agile, and thrives under pressure, a Business & Management apprenticeship could be just thing thing for you.

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The basics.

As a Business & Management apprentice, you’ll be ready to start making an immediate impact. It’s exciting to say that you work in business… but what does it actually mean?

‘Business’ is a broad term and there are a multitude of different roles that you can take on within this umbrella. From consultancy to management to business development, a business apprenticeship can give you an insight into how successful businesses run their daily operations, so you can decide which area of the trade you’d like to pursue.

Types of Business Apprenticeships

Business Analyst Apprenticeship

Working as a business analyst could be a great choice if you also enjoy IT, maths, statistics or problem-solving. Business analysts use data analytics to understand how a business is functioning, and they interpret this information to help stakeholders make decisions on budgets, processes, pricing and more.

Their goal is to use data to analyse potential problems in a business and identify where improvements could be made – this is a business-IT hybrid role.

Business Development Apprenticeship

Most companies, big and small, will have a business development team. Their job is to help the business grow by reaching out to potential new customers, building partnerships and generating new ‘leads’ (finding customers or other businesses that might want to buy what you’re selling).

Depending on how big the company is, business development roles sometimes combine marketing and sales work too – meaning that you could get creative to attract potential customers, and also help seal the deal.

Business Administration Apprenticeship

If you work in business administration, it’s likely that you’ll be working in the operations, HR or accounts team. Although your day-to-day activities might vary depending on your employer, business administrators ensure that a company’s staff, schedule and resources are running effectively.

Business administration is dynamic and interesting, and there are many possible routes that you could take – for example, you could be in charge of managing the company’s supply chain, trade deals, marketing, compliance and more.

Business Management Apprenticeship

Civil engineering is a hugely varied discipline, with civil engineers working across infrastructure and construction. Civil engineers can work on buildings, roads, bridges, anything with a structural component.

Civil engineers get the chance to work on a lot of interesting and different projects.

Entry requirements?

As with most apprenticeships these days, you’ll be expected to have two or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 4, including passes in English and Maths, in order to secure your place on a business program.

Aside from academic expectations, most jobs in business require great interpersonal and communications skills – after all, admin, management and sales positions require you to interact with people on a daily basis. Don’t worry if you’re not super confident, you can use your apprenticeship as a way to build up your confidence when communicating with others.

If you decide to pursue business management, you may find yourself looking at numbers, spreadsheets and financial documents a lot, so some avenues within business may require you to be mathematically-minded and logical.

Apprentice Levels

Apprenticeships are split into levels depending on the length and the qualification that you receive at the end. Possible qualifications that you’ll get could be:

Level 2 (intermediate) – equivalent to 5 GCSEs (at grades 9 to 4)

Did you know that Aldi is a top provider of business apprenticeships in the UK? Their Store Management Apprenticeship allows you to achieve both Levels 2 and 3 and earn a great £6.34/hour – way above the national apprenticeship average.

Level 3 (advanced) – equivalent to 2 A-levels

If you’re based in London, Bloomberg’s Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship could teach you more about leading customer support, supply chain, compliance or recruitment teams in a large company.

Levels 4 and 5 (higher) – equivalent to a foundation degree

KPMG’s Business Services Apprenticeship is a good option if you’re interested in a career in business administration. It’s a 2-year, Level 4 scheme; for the first year you’ll focus on business admin, then you’ll move onto other teams.

Also in the consultancy sector, EY’s 4-year Level 4 Junior Management Consulting Apprenticeship focuses on client relations work. You’ll hear the word ‘remediation’ a lot in this apprenticeship – it means helping clients fix problems if they feel they’ve been treated unfairly at work. Interesting stuff!

Fujitsu’s Project Management Level 4 Apprenticeship lasts for 2 years and focuses on the skills you’ll need to build a strong business that has a positive impact on the world.

Levels 6 and 7 (degree) – you’ll get a full bachelor’s and/or master’s degree. Yep, that’s right: with some high-level apprenticeships, you can achieve a full degree at the end, without going to university.

The BBC’s Business (Project) Management scheme allows you to achieve a Level 6 degree apprenticeship on-site in London or Manchester.

Company Spotlight

The Big Four consultancies (KPMG, EY, Deloitte and PwC) are well-known for employing apprentices across their departments, so keep an eye out for their business apprenticeship opportunities. Capgemini, a smaller consultancy firm, has multiple apprenticeship schemes that cover different specialties within business, such as their Business Analyst, Project Management and Learning and Development Apprenticeships.

Consultancy firms are not the only places where you’ll find business apprenticeships. Household names like Jaguar Land Rover, Tarmac (yes, Tarmac is an actual company!), BAE Systems and Deutsche Bank offer their own business schemes nationwide.

Although these big names might draw your attention, don’t forget about smaller companies in your local area. Reach out to them or check your local newspaper to see if there are business apprenticeship opportunities near you.

A future in business & management

One of the reasons why jobs in business are so exciting is because you can work anywhere, in any sector – from finance, construction, manufacturing, retail and more. A career in business offers a huge possibility of roles and industries.

If climbing the career ladder is appealing to you, the public sector often has a wide range of business apprenticeships available across Transport for London, the BBC, the Army and the government – it’s always worth checking the website.

Business is one of the best routes to pursue if you’re looking to equip yourself with the skills to work anywhere and everywhere. Whether you enjoy being creative or logical, working in a large company or a small one, there will be opportunities in business that suit you.

You’ll gain transferable skills – such as an understanding of economics, emotional intelligence and decision-making – that will help you well into the future, no matter where you end up. With a business apprenticeship, the world is at your fingertips!