Is an apprenticeship right for you?

Abstract image of a pair of scissors and sewing pins on a table.
The Royal Ballet School offers apprenticeships in a varied range of departments around the School. Apprenticeships are paid jobs that incorporate on and off the job training, and they offer a great alternative to university, but there are pros and cons that you should consider before applying.


  • A good alternative to university
  • Paid salary
  • High level training working alongside a team
  • Can offer a long-term career path
  • Can provide real knowledge, skills and experience
  • Builds confidence
  • Does not result in student debt.


  • Can be difficult to balance the academic study with work
  • Qualifications are specific and do not open as many opportunities which can limit your options regarding the type of career you can go into. If you find the career is not for you, then you may feel stuck with a career path that you no longer want to pursue
  • Initial apprenticeship wage is low compared to other employment
  • Do not get to experience university life
  • Competition is tough
  • Apprenticeships are not available in all industries.

Apprenticeships suit someone who:

  • Has a clear idea of the type of career they wish to pursue
  • Is willing to commit to work and study
  • Is ready to start work with an employer and be based in the workplace
  • Is well organised
  • Is able to cope with workplace demands as well as academic study and deadlines
  • Is ready to be assessed through a mixture of assignments and written work
  • Wants an alternative to university.

Apprentices must:

  • Prove themselves in the workplace
  • Achieve academically in their coursework and prove to be productive in the workplace. This doesn’t mean that all apprentices are A* students, but it does mean that an apprentice must have the ability to understand the learning content and complete assignments and activities to a high standard, following the outlined criteria
  • Manage time and adjust to longer hours with fewer holidays than school/sixth form/college/university
  • Be prepared to travel or relocate to find the right opportunity.
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