Information from the Success at School careers advice service
Apprenticeships these days come in all shapes and sizes. With an apprenticeship, you could train to be a solicitor, engineer, journalist, pharmacist or graphic designer—and that's just for starters. You will also be paid a wage, and any qualifications you undertake as part of your apprenticeship—including a university degree—will be paid for by your employer.
This short video provides a good overview:
An apprenticeship is a paid job with training. Apprentices also work towards relevant qualifications while on the job. There are four type of apprenticeships:
A basic level of literacy and numeracy is required to undertake any apprenticeship. If you don't have any GCSEs in English or Maths, you may be able to—depending on the apprenticeship—work towards a "functional skills" qualification while they do their apprenticeship. There are also traineeships students can undertake if they do not qualify for an apprenticeship.
This short video should help you understand whether apprenticeships or university might be better for you.