Here at Hotcourses, we love apprenticeships! With courses ranging in a wide variety of subjects, from health and social care to agriculture and horticulture, an apprenticeship can be the perfect foundation to start a career. So, whether you’re already an apprentice or are considering an apprenticeship at your nearby college, here are just five of the countless reasons why we think apprenticeships are go:
Record numbers signing up
More people than ever are signing up some kind of apprentice scheme, as an increasing number of students ditch the idea of going to study at university in favour of taking a more vocational career path. Figures from the government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills revealed that a record breaking 868,000 students were enrolled on an apprenticeship during 2012/13, meaning that there have now been over 1.5 million students starting an apprenticeship since 2010. With apprenticeship intakes more than doubling in the past four years, there’s no better time to be an apprentice.
Accessible to all
Whether you’re 16 or 56, it’s never too late to start an apprenticeship. The number of adults aged over 25 enrolling as an apprentice has shot up significantly in recent years, from just 200 a decade ago to more than 340,000 in the last academic year. The entry requirements are traditionally far lower than academic qualification routes like A Levels and university, with most apprentices requiring as few as four or five GCSE’s to get started. Once signed up to a scheme, the apprentice wage allows you to earn while you’re learning, ranging from £2.68 for those aged 16-19 to the national minimum wage of £6.31 for those aged over 19 and in their second year of an apprenticeship. So, taking an apprenticeship really is available and benficial to anyone.
Backed by the best in the business
Wondering why apprentices are good? Well, it's down to the fact growing number of apprenticeships are being offered by some of the UK’s biggest companies, allowing you to build a career at some of the most prestigious organisations in the sector you’re interested in. In the past few months alone, the likes of BMW and Premier Inn have announced that they’ll be taking on huge numbers of additional apprenticeships to work alongside the apprentices they’ve enrolled in previous year, while huge brands like Tesco and Nestle have confirmed that they will continue to support their large apprentice schemes. So, there are plenty of chances for you to enrol on an apprenticeship and kick start your career!
Improved job prospects
Apprentices are far more likely to maintain a career relevant to the sector that they’re trained in. Government figures show that as many as two-thirds of apprentices are kept on with the company they’ve worked towards their apprenticeship at, while around 85% will stay in relevant employment to what they’ve been studying. That’s a complete contrast to graduates, where remarkably nearly half are in jobs that don’t actually require a degree, with figures from the Office of National Statistics showing that 47% of all employed workers who finished their course in the past five years were in positions that didn’t need an undergraduate qualification.
Big financial bonuses
You may think that a degree will instantly give you better wages, but statistics show that apprentices will on average earn more than university graduates well into their mid-twenties. The figures released by the Office of National Statistics revealed that apprentices aged 21 are earning as much as £4,000 more a year than those with a degree, with that only levelling out once graduates reach 25 and beyond. Even though graduates do eventually end up on average with bigger annual earnings, an apprentice will have gained a good salary without the burden of needing to pay back an excessive student loan.
If our apprenticeship article has convinced you to enrol on an apprentice scheme, then there are literally thousands of apprenticeships listed on Hotcourses. If you’re already on an apprenticeship scheme, you can also tell us why you think being apprentice is so good and tell us the benefits of taking an apprenticeship by getting in touch via our Facebook and Twitter pages.
With a BA in Journalism, Alistair has a passion for writing, especially if it's got anything to do with football or other sports. In his spare time, he's big on exercise and he once completed the London Marathon.