Apprenticeships, T-Levels, A-Levels. What’s the difference?

Choosing the right career path 

As soon as you finish school you can be put under pressure to decide what your future career is going to be. It can be an intimidating time, especially if you are unsure of what will be the best route. There are several different options, which is why we have put together this blog to explain each route and what it can do for your future career. There is no right or wrong decisions, it is what is right for you! We will be looking at Apprenticeships, T-Levels, A-Levels and BTEC.  


As we are a training provider specialising in creative, digital and marketing apprenticeships, we will start there.  Apprenticeships are a job and qualification at the same time. This gives you the opportunity to get some work experience as well as earn certificates to add to your CV. To apply for an apprenticeship you must be over 16, not be in full-time education and be living in the UK. You will be paid a salary while you complete your qualification. This is great if you want to start earning your own money sooner rather than later! Apprenticeships require hard work and dedication. You will be balancing education and work at the same time, so you will have to organise your time efficiently.

As part of your apprenticeship you will be given a full-time contract of which 6 hours a week will be dedicated to your training with your dedicated training provider (like us). It will be up to you, your line manager . Apprenticeships have multiple levels depending on your experience and roles within the company 

There are several different courses that you can take with an apprenticeship, such as:  

  • Hair and beauty  
  • Digital and IT  
  • Law and legal studies   
  • Care services  
  • Business and admin  
  • Education, teaching and childcare  
  • Transport and logistics  
  • Creative and Design  
  • Catering and hospitality  
  • Finance and accounting   
  • Engineering and manufacturing   
  • Health and science   
  • Construction, architecture and the built environment   
  • Agriculture, environmental and animal care  
  • Sales, marketing and procurement  

After finishing your apprenticeship you can choose to do a higher level apprenticeship, go to a further education course, such as University or go straight into work with the qualification you have received.   

Take a look at our current vacancies here! 

For more information:  


In September 2022 the government set up a new scheme called T-Level. They are equivalent to three A-Levels and give you work experience too. This is a two-year arrangement for people between ages 16-19. Unlike apprenticeships, you will be doing more theory and study than working in a placement. You will have only 45 days within a working environment as a small taster to see what it would be like. As T-Levels are still developing these are the current courses you can take: 


  • Accounting  
  • Building services engineering for construction  
  • Design and development for engineering and manufacturing  
  • Design, surveying and planning for construction  
  • Business services  
  • Digital production, design and development  
  • Support services  
  • Education and childcare  
  • Engineering, manufacturing, processing and control  
  • Finance  
  • Health  
  • Healthcare science  
  • Maintenance, installation and repair for engineering and manufacturing  
  • Management and administration  
  • Onsite construction  
  • Science  

There are set to be more added by 2023. After finishing your T-Level you can move onto an apprenticeship, University or straight into work.  

For more information:  


A-Levels (Advanced level qualifications) are the traditional courses you would take after completing GCSE’s. You must be between 16-18 to do these qualifications and at least five GCSE’s grades 9-4 / A*- C, including a grade 6 or above in the specific subjects you want to take. However, this can vary depending on where you choose to take your A-Levels. There are different courses and requirements at different places, so do your research before applying anywhere. You do not get any work placements unless specified and generally complete these courses with exams at the end of the two years.   

After A-Levels you can move on to Apprenticeships University or work.(Bear in mind, if you complete an A-Level that is the same qualification as an apprenticeship, you will be ineligible to do the apprenticeship)   

For more information:  


BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council) is a more vocational focused course, meaning it’s more practical, than an A-Level. BTECs start from level 2, which is equivalent to a GCSE, and go up to a masters degree (level 7). However, it does depend on the subject you take, as not all go up to level 7.  You can apply for a BTEC from the age of 16. These are generally in colleges and schools.

Here are some of the courses you can take as a BTEC:   

  • Applied Science  
  • Art and Design  
  • Business  
  • Childcare  
  • Construction  
  • Engineering  
  • Media  
  • Health and Social Care  
  • Hospitality  
  • ICT  
  • Land-Based  
  • Performing Arts  
  • Public Services  
  • Sport  
  • Travel and Tourism  

After your course, you can move onto Apprenticeships, University or work (Bear in mind, if you complete an A-Level that is the same qualification as an apprenticeship, you will be ineligible to do the apprenticeship).  

For more information:  

We hope you have found this useful and have more of an idea of what the right career path looks like for you. If you think this information would be helpful to others, share this blog with them!