Quick guides to apprenticeships
I would say aim for level 4 or go for degree level 5/6 or you could do a level 7 which will do a masters course. A-Level is level 3 education tho so don't do another level 3 or lower
A good apprenticeship employer can offer you far better development opportunities than what any university can. A prestigious employer may also offer advancement to L4 to L6 apprenticeships, without the need to reapply.
Additionally, L3 workplace experience can be very beneficial to your future studies. For example, L3 engineering technician skills such as learning how to machine can make you such a better L6 design engineer. Many experienced design engineers often design things beyond the capabilities of current manufacturing methods.
I work in L6 research and testing, which involves a lot of writing reports and even publishing research. Since I built and overhauled testing equipment during my L3, I find it much easier to predict equipment failure in project plans and design better test related equipment.
The main driver should always be your interest in the subject. I miss my hands on role as a technician sometimes.