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The Benefits of Apprenticeships
University and college have always been options after completing GCSE’s and A Levels, but with the rise of fees for higher education, apprenticeships are becoming a popular alternative. Not only that, but in some industries an apprenticeship is the best pathway to start a career, with its mix of workplace experience and academic qualifications.
However, there are a variety of myths surrounding apprenticeships, including that they only cover practical industries such as plumbing and engineering. Nowadays, apprenticeships offer a foot in the door to nearly every type of business you can think of.
Here are a few of the biggest benefits of starting your career with an apprenticeship.
The chance to earn while you learn
While students are finding themselves in an average of £44,000 in debt after their degree, an apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to gain on the job skills and a qualification without debt, all while earning a salary. If you’re under the age of 19, an apprenticeship won’t cost you or your employer a single penny, and is fully funded by the government. Government funding is also available until you’re 24 years old, meaning opportunities for a variety of ages.
Another common myth is that all apprenticeships are low paid, and it may be tempting to compare apprenticeship wages to those of skilled workers. However, it’s best to think of an apprenticeship as somewhere between a full time job and an academic course, and includes the benefits of both.
Although the minimum apprenticeship wage is £3.30 an hour, many employers will pay well above this to ensure they attract the right candidate, meaning you could earn up to £170 a week. With the right opportunity, your earning potential is limitless!
Apprenticeships are growing
Employers in all sectors are starting to realise the potential of bringing in apprentices, meaning that a whole host of opportunities are opening up in a variety of industries.
If you’re interested in gaining experience in accountancy, admin, social media, property services, and many more, then there are apprenticeships available and waiting for you. There are even apprenticeships available in unusual roles such as beekeeping and equine dentistry! Also, unlike college or university, there are no fixed enrolling dates for apprenticeships – meaning you can apply for opportunities like these at any time.
Experience and guidance
It’s no secret that employers truly value first-hand experience, and an apprenticeship will enable you to diversify your skillset by easing you into a full time role, and use skills that you will need every day.
Not only that, but you will benefit from being amongst experienced team members, who will be there to guide you through any difficulties. Keep in mind that employers will be putting their time, money, and effort into training you, meaning that this ‘foot in the door’ could mean a permanent role at this business. Government statistics found that 90% of apprentices stayed in employment after finishing, with 7 in 10 staying with the same employer.
Nationally Recognised Qualification
While progressing through your workplace experience, you will also take on an NVQ (National Vocational Qualifications). These are valuable diplomas that show demonstrable skills on your CV, and teach you about the responsibilities of the role, as well as learning how it can benefit the business. These qualifications start at level 2 (intermediate), and progress all the way up to level 8, which is equivalent to a degree.
You may also complete well-respected qualifications that are a specifically tailored for the industry, such as AAT qualifications for accounting, and CII qualifications for insurance apprenticeships. These will further boost your employment prospects, and will teach you skills that you will use day to day on your apprenticeship.
If you’re interested in starting an apprenticeship, Babington Group can support you to find an opportunity. Click here to search for an opportunity to suit you, or enquire into what we have available here.
By Tom Cox
• Babington Group
Published: 02 Sep 2016