An apprenticeship combines part-time learning with work and can be more suited to visual and ‘ hands-on’ learners. Employers will teach you the exact skill set needed for a specific job, leaving you with both knowledge and experience, as well as a full qualification. An apprenticeship is great for getting you started in an industry of your choice and gives you a good start point for future employment.
Earn while you learn
It’s more than likely there will be two paths ahead for you when considering your future after school; further education through university or becoming an apprentice. It’s well known that going to university can be an expensive route, with some people predicted to leave university with a debt of £30,000 when they graduate.
Becoming an apprentice means you’re learning the trade and earning a qualification all whilst earning a living. You won’t have any debts to pay in terms of tuition fees as the government will fund 100% of your training costs. There is also no age cap to doing an apprenticeship, as long as you are over the age of 16, you can begin an apprenticeship course at any time.
Even though the pay may be low when you start your apprenticeship, this will increase as you progress. Figures show that on average a person with an advanced apprenticeship can earn between £77,000 and £117,000 more over their lifetime than others with similar Level 2 qualifications.
The qualification you will be working towards are nationally recognised qualifications. There are three levels of apprenticeship:
- Level 2 – This is known as an intermediate apprenticeship and is equivalent to 5 GCSE passes. Apprentices at this level work towards NVQ Level 2, Key Skills or a BTEC.
- Level 3 – This is an advanced apprenticeship which is equivalent to two A-level passes. A person can either start straight away at Level 3 if they have 5 GCSE passes at grade A* – C, or they can progress after they have completed their Level 2 apprenticeship. Apprentices at this level work towards NVQ Level 3, Key Skills or a BTEC.
- Level 4 and above – These higher apprenticeships mean the person is working towards an NVQ Level 4 or a Foundation degree. They can then progress onto higher education if they wish.
Hands on experience
Becoming an apprentice will give you real experience of working in your chosen career, opposed to studying and reading about it in text books. You will also learn other important employability skills, such as CV writing and interview techniques, as well as team work and communication skills. Working as part of a team in a business will mean you are learning from proven professionals already in the industry and you can benefit from their experiences and knowledge.
Foot in the door
According to government statistics released ahead of National Apprenticeship Week, 90% of apprentices stay in employment once they have qualified, with 71% staying with the same employer. For those who aren’t able to stay with the same employer, you will still have at least a year’s worth of experience in the industry and it’s more than likely you will have built up a list of contacts who you, or your employer, could reach out to. Having the hands on experience will mean that you will stand out against any other applicants who may not have done apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to work your way up in a business, with 23% of former apprentices claiming that they were promoted within 12 months of qualifying. Employers may prefer to hire an apprentice as they can train them from the start of their career, meaning they are willing to take the time to invest and develop from within.
Even though you are an apprentice, you will be an official employee, and therefore will enjoy all the benefits that employees do, such as an employment contract, paid holiday, sickness entitlements, pension contributions etc.
To find out more about doing an apprenticeship in business administration, childcare or health and social care you can contact the Aspire Training on 01202 551553 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.