Apprenticeships are on the rise and have been at the forefront of the news agenda recently so we want to help challenge some of the myths and confusion with our top ten reasons to consider an Apprenticeship.
1. Earn while you learn: An Apprenticeship is a way for young people and adults to earn while they learn in a real job, gaining a real qualification and a real future. Time and time again apprentices enforce the importance of earning while they learn. See recent Huffington Post Apprentice of the Week features with Jenny Westworth, Sadie Hawkins and Craig Freeman.
2. Work to get qualified: Apprenticeships have traditionally been seen as a route for those who are less academic and more practically minded. Many people who don't want to stay in a classroom environment do indeed find that work-based learning and study allows them to shine - but that doesn't mean it's an easy option - it just taps into a different way of learning.
High achievers are also finding Apprenticeships really enable them to get ahead in their careers, with a combination of work and study that means they can be well on their way within an industry, qualified and earning a decent salary before many university graduates have even had their first job offer.
Quality is key to Apprenticeships. Apprenticeships must be at least 12 months long and lead to a national qualification that is respected by employers.
3. Shine at what you are good at: Currently, more than 100,000 employers in England offer Apprenticeships in 200,000 locations, covering over 170 industries and 1,500 different job roles, In a range of sectors from marketing to accountancy, engineering to veterinary nursing, community arts to construction. Enabling you to shine wherever your enthusiasm and interest is sparked.
4. Real-work experience: Builds your confidence AND your skills
The 'on-the-job' experience is often the most rapid way of learning about an industry and apprentices comment on how it builds not only their work-experience but their confidence and personal skills beyond the job itself. All apprentices are doing a real job, making a difference in their chosen industry. You are likely to working for at least 30 hours a week, apart from in exceptional circumstances.
5. Gain insight (and save money): An Apprenticeship gives you an insight into a particular industry sector and builds valuable skills. Even if you decide you to move into to another profession later, during your Apprenticeship you will have built work experience, a wide range of skills and gained a qualification that will be transferable across different industries and businesses. You'll also have 'earned as you learnt', avoiding a large student debt.
6. Build a career: A high proportion of apprentices go on to work in their chosen industry for the rest of their working life. Many apprentices will get to realise the title of Director, Managing Director or run their own business successfully. (e.g. Steve Gelder MBE, Founder and Director of the Gelder Group and Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director of Programmes & Support at BAE Systems.
7. Build a future: After finishing, the majority of apprentices (85%) will stay in employment, with two-thirds (64%) staying with the same employer. (Source: Evaluation of Apprenticeships for Learners, BIS, May 2012). A third (32%) of all former apprentices had received a promotion within 12 months of finishing, and of those in work, three quarters (75%) reported taking on more responsibility in their job.
Employers think that qualified apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications. (Source: ICM Employers Research, 2013)
8. Not just for 16 year olds: Anyone living in England who is over 16 years old and not in full-time education can apply to be an apprentice.
9. Don't follow the crowd: Your first chance to start an Apprenticeship is when you leave school. Apprenticeships are a real alternative to University - almost no matter what your vocation, the scope of job roles that Apprenticeships can offer today means by not following the crowd you could open-up a life-time opportunity. That said, Apprenticeships are becoming ever more popular. In the academic year 2011-12, more than half a million apprentices began their training, with nearly a quarter of those aged 16-18.
10. Apprentices love Apprenticeships: Don't just believe me - listen to what other apprentices say, time and time again and write about their experiences. And moreover Employers love Apprenticeships too - with 71% recommending Apprenticeships.