The Advantages of Apprenticeships – News

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The Advantages of Apprenticeships

Posted on: 08 Mar 2019, admin

There are many routes to take on your career journey, and it’s important to take the time to consider and think about all of your options. One path is undertaking an apprenticeship, which can help you learn essential skills and gain experience within a chosen industry. Apprenticeships are available to those who have reached the legal school-leaving age, which varies across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

In 2016 and 2017 alone, there were 491,300 apprenticeship starts in the UK. However, The Open University Business Barometer, which observes the skills landscape of the UK, revealed a major shortage in skills (within the UK labour market) and a significant deficiency in 2018. David Willett, Corporate Director of the OU, explains that skills shortages are costing UK businesses £6.3 billion. This large figure highlights the need for more skills-based courses and schemes, such as apprenticeships. 

This week is National Apprenticeship Week 2019, and we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to remind you to weigh up your options, so we’ve come up with five main advantages to apprenticeships. 

  1. Apprenticeships encourage and promote the development of practical (applied) skills in the workplace. They allow you to develop a great skillset to take with you into future jobs, much of which you can learn from experienced colleagues and mentors during your apprenticeship. 
  2. Apprenticeships are structured training programmes that allow you to work towards a recognised qualification while gaining valuable experience and know-how. What you learn can then be used as transferrable skills that you take with you to future jobs and projects. 
  3. Apprenticeships allow you to earn while you learn! Many are well-paid and it means you won’t have to take out a student loan or pay off any student debt after you achieve your qualification. 
  4. There is so much choice! There are more than 400 different types of apprenticeships so whether you want to work in construction, media, accounting, administration, engineering or agriculture, there will be an apprenticeship for you. 
  5. Apprenticeships offer a varied learning experience. You won’t be sitting at a desk studying in a classroom for five days a week. You’ll be learning on the job within a real-life company, which makes learning memorable and interesting, and you can apply what you’ve learnt straight away. 

There are three categories or levels of apprenticeship available, which reflect the trainees’ skills and qualifications. These are Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2), Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3) and Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4 and above). Once completed, trainees will gain a nationally-recognised qualification, which are now available up to degree level and above. 

So what happens after the apprenticeship training has been completed? In our experience, recruiters are far more likely to hire an apprentice who has successfully completed their training to a high standard compared to a sixth form student who has two poor A-levels under their belt. If an apprenticeship interests you, we recommend researching apprenticeship schemes, reading some real-life case studies or speaking to a current or past apprentice about their own experience as a trainee. It’s important to weigh up all of your options to make an informed decision. 

There are a number of well-paid apprenticeship schemes and placements in a number of sectors that can truly kick-start your career. For more information, visit www.gov.uk and The Apprenticeship Guide for useful resources including current vacancies.