|Pictured: Brathay Apprentice Challenge winners, Team Pepsi|
With nearly half a million students starting an undergraduate degree each year, university can often seem the only option for a school leaver. However, rising tuition fees, expensive living costs and an increasingly saturated graduate market, it’s worth considering an alternative to the traditional degree route. This is where school leaver programmes and apprenticeships really come into their own. If you don’t want to go straight into a job, such schemes allow young people to combine qualifications with employment. This means that they can earn money whilst gaining valuable skills and experience, greatly improving their career prospects.