It depends a bit on what you want to do after your degree / apprenticeship. You could look at degrees with industry experience, I spent a year of my degree working in a company which was very valuable.
Which ever you pick make sure that the course is focused on an area which you are interested in and provides good quality skills.
It depends on you really. But if you do want the work experience, all universities offer year in industry. You get to do you degree and then after your second year go work for a company that has a partnership with the university you are studying at. Most of the people I know did year in industry, were offered full time jobs by the company they did the year in industry with. So this is a good way to know you have a job secured after you graduate.
I think practical work experience on top of a degree is always more desirable to an employer than a degree alone. If you didn’t want to do an apprenticeship definitely look for a degree with a year in industry or get practical work experience in all the holidays.
If you ever want to work in a hospital laboratory, make sure you look for IBMS accredited degrees because these are the only ones that will allow you to become a Biomedical Scientist.
It is entirely up to your circumstances and what’s available in your desired field. Degree apprenticeships are still relatively new so universities may not offer a wide selection of courses. Alternatively you can look at higher apprenticeships which may involve going to college for a HNC/HND or studying a specific degree at university and getting to work alongside your studies.
Experience is always a great idea and can really help you narrow down what interests you and what you’d like to focus on as an area of work when you graduate. But there are other ways if you are worried about funding your degree and reducing your student debt. There are scholarships you can apply for to reduce your tuition or maintenance loan.
You can also go to university and take a year out after your second year to take an industrial placement for a year where you are a paid employee within a company and spend your time with them working on projects and perhaps receiving specialist training required for your job role. If you don’t want to take a break in-between your studies there are industrial placements that act more like work experience placements where you can spend 1 to 3 months during your summer holidays working and earning in a wide range of companies.
If you feel that you would benefit from learning from real life applications of the skills a degree is teaching you then apprenticeships are a fantastic option but they can mean you will take 5 years to complete an undergraduate degree instead of the standard 3 years.