Is an apprenticeship right for my child’s future career path?

As a parent you naturally want the best for your child and to support them in their decisions.  Once they finish school or college there are a number of options open to them to continue with their education; an apprenticeship or attending university.  It’s natural that you will be one of the people that they turn to for advice and guidance, but how can you help them reach the best option for them in their development and their future career?


What support will they need from me as a parent?

The important thing is that they know you are there for them.  If they are interested in a certain job, industry, attending a particular university or studying towards a specific degree, or they would like to become an apprentice, make sure you take the time to research the option.  Not only will they appreciate you showing an interest but you’ll also be better informed to help them reach a decision.


What essentially is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a qualification that is earned while on the job.  An apprentice will spend the majority of their week with their employer learning the trade, and then a certain amount of time with their assessor learning towards their qualification.  There are now a wide variety of apprenticeships available, not just for jobs such as engineering or manufacturing, but also more office based such as business administration.


University or an apprenticeship?

Neither of these options is better than the other, but one of them will be better for your child based on the following factors:

  • Their grades from GCSE’s, A-levels or college course – this will determine which level of apprenticeship they can do or which university they can apply to.
  • Their learning style – do they find that active learning is better for them to progress or do they prefer studying?
  • Finances – university fees are known to be high and some students can leave university concerned about paying off debts. An apprenticeship will mean they are earning while learning towards their qualification.
  • What they want to do – if they know what they want to do for an occupation the path may be set out for them; if they want to become a doctor they will need a medical degree, if they want to become an engineer an apprenticeship may be better for the hands on experience. University can also be a good option if they’re not sure what they want to do as they can spend those years learning more about a field instead of being trained in a specific career.


Becoming an apprentice is a very different path to going to university as they are effectively employees.  They don’t just learn skills for their industry but also what it’s like to be in the workplace, work with colleagues, and develop team work and communication skills.


What can they do after their apprenticeship?

The benefit of being an apprentice is that while they are learning the skills and trade needed for their chosen career, they are also building relationships with their employer and so after they have finished their qualification the employer may keep them on.  If this isn’t possible, then they will have two years of work experience as well as an employer recognised qualification and an employer reference to help them towards finding another job in the industry.  Apprentices will have the same rights to promotion as those who enter a job with a degree and research has shown that apprentices can now earn the same as, or sometimes more, than those who have completed a degree.


How can I prepare them for an apprenticeship?

As they would effectively be an employee, they will go through the same process as an employee, namely they will need to have an up-to-date CV and will be interviewed for the role.  There are a number of courses available that can help them work towards their employability skills.


There is a lot for your children to consider when deciding what path to take, but taking the time to offer your advice, helping them review each option and weighing up the pro’s and con’s can have a huge impact.


For more information or you have more questions you’d like answered you can contact the team on 01202 551553 or email

Delivering quality Apprenticeships and Training across Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Devon and Hampshire, in Childcare, Business Administration, Leadership and Management, and more. With offices in Salisbury, Taunton, Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Plymouth.

Posted in: Apprenticeship