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.
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.