I'm an Engineering Apprentice, AMA! Watch
In terms of balancing it, I try to do as much of my assignments as I can whilst I’m on day release and then I put a couple of hours aside to focus on assignments each week. I use my travelling time to chip away at my NVQ work and again schedule an hour or so each week to work on bigger chunks
I probably put aside an average of 3 hours a week specifically related to my studies, outside of the workplace/travelling.