If you're thinking about the next stage in your education and making plans that will involve working towards a future career, you might have already considered college, uni or even going straight into the workplace. While there are many options out there in further and higher education, one way of learning is becoming more and more popular – the apprenticeship.
It’s encouraging to see that the apprenticeship market is flourishing, with the UK government promising 75,000 new apprenticeship places by 2015. Apprenticeships have the added value of giving people on the job training, real workplace experience, a working salary while training, and career progression prospects.
Funding for apprenticeships has increased over the last three years as they have become central to the government’s approach to post-16 education. More finance has meant more students have been able to consider this as an option.
With the added pressure of higher fees for degrees being implemented in the UK, the lure of apprenticeships is increasing. You don’t have to pay to do one – in fact you will get paid to learn. The current minimum wage for apprentices is £2.65 but usually this will just be a starting wage and as you learn more and increase your skill set, many apprentices will see a wage increase.
For many, it’s far better to gain some training and workplace experience in their chosen field rather than doing a degree and working up the ladder after graduation. While post-16 education has traditionally focused on the university route, things are changing and apprenticeships have found themselves back in the spotlight. In the last few years, since the government’s Opening Doors report, the structure and content of apprenticeships has significantly improved to ensure they deliver the right skills for the workplace.
When you hear the word ‘apprentice’, you may automatically think of manual trades and industry, but you’d be wrong. Apprenticeships are increasingly offered and available in all sectors and can be a springboard to a variety of disciplines.
There are loads of subjects you can do an apprenticeship in across the UK, including retail, management and even horticulture. If you’ve got a career path in mind, it’s definitely worth checking whether there’s an apprenticeship that will lead into it. Moreover there are differently levels covering young apprenticeships, higher apprenticeships and advanced apprenticeships.
Benefits for businesses
If you’re a business owner considering taking on an apprentice, there are many reasons to. Employers can train their workers over a period of time, teaching them the skills they need and allowing them to get to know how the company works and what the company’s values are. Also, according to the National Apprenticeships Service, 81% of consumers favour using a company which takes on apprentices and 88% of apprentice employers believe that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.
Some apprenticeship figures
• Over 85,000 employers offer apprenticeships in the UK – this number will increase significantly over the coming years.
• Funding will be made available for up to 50,000 additional apprenticeship places over the next four years. There are also plans to expand Higher Apprenticeships at Level 4.
• The Department for Education and Skills has stated that someone taking a Level 2 Apprenticeship (comparable to GCSE level) can earn more than £73,000 more over their lifetime than someone else with another Level 2 qualification or below. That figure increases to £105,000 with a Level 3 Apprenticeship (comparable to A Level).
• A study carried out by Zenos, a subsidiary of the education provider Pearson, found that within three years of starting their apprenticeship, IT apprentices were more than £47,000 better off than their graduate equivalent, when you account for the graduate’s debt.
• There are almost 200 job roles in which someone may be an apprentice; including IT, engineering apprenticeships, electrical apprenticeships, plumbing apprenticeships, hairdressing apprenticeships, beauty apprenticeships and mechanic apprenticeships.
The number of people starting apprenticeships is clearly on the rise and it’s easy to see why. If you want to find out mores, search the apprenticeships we have listed here on Hotcourses or browse apprenticeships in Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Wakefield, Scotland and Wales.
Check out our helpful apprenticeship guides and find out more about apprenticeships.
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