The Higher Level Apprenticeships programme is part-funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund (ESF) Programme 2014 - 2020 and the Department for the Economy.

Skills to Succeed Apprenticeships logo

European Social Fund Northern Ireland logoA Higher Level Apprenticeship offers people, who have A levels or equivalent, the opportunity to gain quality training and a recognised higher qualification while in paid employment. Higher Level Apprenticeships (HLAs) currently offer qualifications from Level 4 to Level 6 (Honours Degree), with the majority being at Level 5 (Foundation degree).

The length of a Higher Level Apprenticeship will vary depending on the programme chosen, but will be a minimum of two years.


The Higher Level Apprenticeships programme aims to:

  • provide apprentices with a unique way to achieve professional-level qualifications
  • offer quality training combined with employment in partnership between employer, provider and apprentice
  • provide increased opportunities for career progression
  • provide a clear pathway to achieving ambitions in the workplace
  • support employers in filling higher level skills gaps, increase productivity and meeting the skills needs of their business



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