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Can I Leave Sixth Form and Do an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are an excellent way to gain practical skills and knowledge while earning a wage. However, you may wonder, “Can I leave sixth form and do an apprenticeship?”

Choosing the right path after completing secondary education can be challenging. While many students opt to continue their studies in sixth form or college, others may consider alternative routes such as apprenticeships. 

In this article, we will explore the possibility of leaving sixth form and embarking on an apprenticeship, providing you with all the necessary information to make an informed decision.

Can I Leave Sixth Form and Do an Apprenticeship

What is an Apprenticeship? 

An apprenticeship is a vocational training program that combines on-the-job training with classroom learning. It allows individuals to gain practical skills and experience in a specific industry while earning a wage. Apprenticeships are available in various sectors, including construction, healthcare, information technology, engineering, etc.

Leaving Sixth Form for an Apprenticeship

Because there is a legal duty to continue your education until you are 18, you must either study towards your A-levels or do an apprenticeship. You will need to go to your sixth form’s student services department and let them know what you’re going to do so they can help you get everything sorted out in terms of officially leaving and securing an apprenticeship before you do.

Reasons to Consider Leaving Sixth Form for an Apprenticeship

  1. Practical Experience: Apprenticeships provide hands-on experience and allow you to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings. This practical exposure can enhance your employability and provide a competitive edge in the job market.
  2. Earning While Learning: Unlike traditional education pathways, apprenticeships offer a salary or wage. This means you can start earning money and gaining financial independence while studying. It also helps to minimize the financial burden associated with pursuing higher education.
  3. Industry-Recognised Qualifications: Apprenticeships often lead to industry-recognised qualifications, certificates, or professional accreditations. These qualifications can significantly enhance your career prospects and open doors to future opportunities.
  4. Career Progression: Completing an apprenticeship can provide a solid foundation for your career. Apprenticeship programs offer pathways for further advancement, allowing you to climb the career ladder and potentially achieve higher-paying roles in your chosen field.
  5. Practical Alternative: If you find traditional classroom-based learning challenging or prefer a more hands-on approach to education, an apprenticeship can be an excellent alternative. It allows you to acquire practical skills and experience while working in a supportive environment.

Factors to Consider

  1. Research and Planning: Before leaving sixth form, it’s essential to research the available apprenticeship options in your desired field. Consider different apprenticeship programs’ entry requirements, duration, and potential career prospects.
  2. Commitment and Responsibility: Apprenticeships require dedication, as they involve both on-the-job training and academic studies. You must manage your time effectively to balance work and learning commitments.
  3. Support System: Evaluate the support system provided by the apprenticeship program and the potential for mentorship or guidance. Having a network that can assist you throughout your apprenticeship journey is crucial.
  4. Long-Term Goals: Reflect on your long-term career goals and assess whether an apprenticeship aligns with your aspirations. Some professions require higher academic qualifications, so consider if further education is necessary in the future.


Leaving sixth form and pursuing an apprenticeship can be an excellent choice for those seeking practical experience, industry recognition, and financial independence. However, it’s essential to conduct thorough research, weigh the pros and cons, and consider your long-term goals before deciding. Apprenticeships offer a valuable pathway to success, enabling individuals to develop relevant skills, gain experience, and kickstart their careers in various industries.

Updated on May 27, 2023

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