Apprenticeships across Bristol & the South West

Several global companies have a significant presence in Bristol, including Airbus, Amazon, Hewlett Packard, and EE.

When you consider Bristol also has two top-quality universities and all the conveniences of a large city with beautiful countryside on your doorstep, completing an apprenticeship in Bristol becomes an attractive proposition.

Let’s take a closer look at everything Bristol and the surrounding area have to offer.

Careers in Bristol

There are many industries successfully operating in the area, including defence and aerospace engineering, IT, electronics, creative media, and financial services.

Bristol-based ISL Recruitment and Softcat, an IT services company regularly rank among the best places to work in the UK. There are also opportunities in accounting and tax roles for companies such as Deloitte. Undertaking an apprenticeship with a company such as this can set you on your chosen career path and give you a leg up.

If you’re looking to get an undergraduate degree, a university of Bristol apprenticeship could be just what you need. 

Don’t worry if you have been working in one role or industry and wish to change tacks. Adult apprenticeships can help you to change careers or get qualified in a new specialty. 

With an apprenticeship, you ‘earn as you learn’. In the UK,  the Government divide the cost of your apprenticeship with your employer.

That means that not only will you forgo the usual debt associated with going to university, but you will also be paid fairly for your work. And your work will be practical, directly related to your field of interest, and under the guidance of expert mentors.

When you finish your apprenticeship, you will have learned and honed the skills you need to succeed. You will have the required qualifications, have built a network of contacts, and you’ll be ideally placed to take the next step in your career. Some apprentices continue to work for the same company once they graduate, while others move on. Either way, you will be infinitely more employable within your industry.

Top employers

Bristol’s biggest industries range from aerospace and defence to IT and financial services, to name but a few. There are many top employers operating apprenticeship schemes. Some of Bristol’s best apprenticeship employers include: 

  • Space Engineering Services Limited
  • Petit Forestier UK Limited
  • Burges Salmon
  • Airbus
  • NHS
  • Hargreaves & Lansdown
  • Babcock
  • Bristol Airport
  • Bristol Water
  • Mitie
  • OVO Energy
  • Vertical Aerospace

“Bristol is a vibrant city, home to many established and growing aerospace, energy, engineering and financial services firms.”

Industry spotlight

Engineering & Aerospace Apprenticeships

There are many different types of engineering degrees. Perhaps the most relevant for jobs in Bristol are aerospace apprenticeships. Airbus Bristol apprenticeships are based at the Filton-based factory and teach budding aerospace engineers the skills they need to forge successful careers in the industry. There are also BAE Systems Apprenticeships, and Boeing Apprenticeships, to name a few of the 25 currently available in the UK. Aerospace apprenticeships range from entry-level and advanced to full-blown degree-sponsored apprenticeships.

Find out more

IT Apprenticeships

If you’d rather craft code than build aircrafts, you’ll be pleased to learn that Bristol offers several IT and digital apprenticeship careers. Coding is just one avenue you could pursue, with a Cloud/DevOps apprenticeship. Other digital apprenticeships include, Software apprenticeships, Data Analyst apprenticeships, and Cyber Security apprenticeships. Most industries require at least some level of IT support or digital wizardry, so a digital apprenticeship can open many doors.

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Media Apprenticeships

Bristol also has a thriving media and journalism sector, with BBC Bristol apprenticeships and ITV apprenticeships, plus companies such as South West Film, a Bristol-based award-winning video production and video marketing company. Newspapers and magazines that have their head office in Bristol include Bristol Live, BBC Music Magazine, Who Do You Think You Are magazine, Home & Antiques magazine, Gardens Illustrated and many more.

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Degree Apprenticeships

Degree apprenticeships in Bristol

To deliver a degree apprenticeship, every company must partner with a reputable university. 

Bristol is home to two leading universities that offer degree apprenticeships, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England (UWE). The City of Bristol College is also one of the UK’s biggest providers of apprenticeships. 

These apprenticeships provide opportunities to join some of the best companies in Bristol and cover a wide variety of industries. 

Software Engineering Apprenticeships

What is an apprenticeship?

 Apprenticeships can be summarised broadly as having four Key Benefits:

  1. Learn the ropes from trained professionals
  2. Upskill, improve confidence and gain qualifications
  3. Be mentored by the best and grow your network
  4. Earn a living wage and graduate debt-free

Living and working in Bristol

Located in the South West of England, on the River Avon, Bristol is both a city and a county. Bordered by Gloucestershire and Somerset, Bristol is the most populated city in the southwest, with a population of around 465,000. 

Bristol was the first to be named European Green Capital and the first UK cycling city, so getting on your bike is an excellent way to explore the city and its surroundings.

Often cited as a UK city break favourite, Bristol is rich in history and culture, with attractions including Bristol Cathedral, Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol Museum and Art gallery, the Century old Calbot Tower, and Brunel’s SS Great Britain.

The formerly thriving dock was converted into a leisure and hospitality hub, with hotels, restaurants, shops, and facilities for water sports.

For quieter moments, you can visit Snuff Mills with its relaxing water feature, Troopers Hill Nature Reserve or head to one of the other parks such as Brandon Hill Park or Castle Park.

Outside of the city, picturesque countryside, farmland, forest trails, and pretty villages are within easy reach.

Around 118 miles from London, Bristol also has its own airport for fast and easy domestic and international travel.

The main industries in Bristol today are electronics, defence and aerospace engineering, IT, Creative Media, and Financial Services.

Kickstart your career

Why choose an apprenticeship?

Expert Mentorship

As part of your Bristol apprenticeship, you’ll learn under mentors who are experts in your field of interest. Add to that plenty of practical hands-on experience, backed up by in-classroom learning, and you’ve got a pretty unbeatable combination. 

Earn A Fair Wage

No matter the sector, all apprenticeships are backed by the apprentice minimum wage. This means you are guaranteed to earn a liveable wage while studying for your degree and learning practical skills on the job. It is quite common for certain employers to offer wages far exceeding the minimum wage to attract the top candidates. 

More Apprenticeships, More Choice

 A collective effort to close the ever-growing skills gap in the UK, incentives to businesses (such as the apprentice levy), and a government push have led to the development of more UK apprenticeships than ever before. It is not just the number increasing but also the variety of roles and industries that apprenticeships now serve. 

Level Up

The four levels of UK apprenticeships cater to different levels of education and experience, they are Intermediate, Advanced, Higher, and Degree. Specific requirements will vary between apprenticeships, so always check carefully. The benefits of an apprenticeship degree include upskilling and consolidating your knowledge, qualifying for higher positions, gaining first-hand experience and potentially significantly increasing your earning prospects.

Get Your Degree with No Debt

Going to university to get a degree can be expensive. With the courses, required reading material and other expenses student loans can cost tens of thousands. That’s before you add on rent and bills. Most students need a job to cover their living expenses and graduate with three or four years worth of debt. Not so with an apprenticeship. University of Bristol apprenticeships are funded by your employer and the Government, so you graduate with no debt. Because of the liveable wage requirements described above, you’ll also be earning enough to cover basic living expenses, and, potentially, much more. 

Your Ideal Apprenticeship

Given the abundance of industries thriving in the city, new Bristol-based apprenticeships are created every year. There are apprenticeships dedicated to specialist roles, to give you exactly the training and qualifications you need to progress. Those with a job in mind can start looking into the requirements immediately. Don’t worry if you’re not quite sure, though. You can browse our best industry apprenticeships page to get a better feel for what’s out there and let us know if you have any questions.

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