Apprenticeships are a brilliant option for people of all ages to launch their careers in a huge range of exciting industries or upskill at various levels.
There are thousands of apprenticeship vacancies on offer, with more than 640 high-quality apprenticeships approved for use by employers – meaning someone could pursue a career as anything from a space engineering technician to a junior advertising creative.
Here are five reasons why there has never been a better time to do an apprenticeship.
1. It’s a paid job
An apprenticeship is a paid job where you benefit from structured training whilst gaining valuable workplace experience. There are thousands of top-quality options out there now, with many apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships in leading companies, paying over £20,000 per year.
Alongside your on-the-job training, as an apprentice, you will spend a minimum of 6 hours a week on average in off-the-job training with a provider, such as a college or university. Here you learn the skills you need to become competent in your chosen occupation, a vital step to getting a full-time job in the future.
2. You get high quality training
Apprenticeships help people to get the necessary skills and experience to succeed in their chosen career.
An apprenticeship includes:
- paid employment with holiday leave
- at least 6 hours off-the-job training per week on average
- formal assessment which leads to a nationally recognised certificate
Off-the-job training is delivered by subject experts and can include teaching theory, such as classroom lessons, lectures, online learning; practical training, such as shadowing, mentoring, industry visits; learning support; and time to write assignments.
All of this combines to provide high quality training for people to progress in their chosen sector.
3. The wide range of choices on offer
There have never been so many great apprenticeship options available in such a diverse range of sectors, going right up to degree level.
There’s something for everyone – from school leavers to those looking to upskill in their careers, and those seeking a career change.
There are plenty of inspiring stories of people taking charge of their careers, using their apprenticeship to build knowledge and contacts within their chosen field.
Alim is a apprentice from London working for Channel 4 who says the experience of doing an apprenticeship allowed him to build confidence doing things he’s passionate about.
To hear more inspiring stories, visit: Real stories (apprenticeships.gov.uk)
4. It’s rewarding
Apprenticeships can unlock doors for people, and they can be lucrative. Many world-class careers have been built on a solid apprenticeship.
What you earn will depend on the location, industry and type of apprenticeship you choose.
At a minimum, if you're aged 16 to 18 or in the first year of your apprenticeship, you’re entitled to the apprentice rate. If you're 19 or over and have completed the first year of your apprenticeship, you’re entitled to the National Minimum Wage.
But many employers pay a lot more and offer their apprentices a competitive salary.
The good news is that 91% of apprentices go on to secure employment or go on to further study after completing their training. In terms of earning potential, in terms of earning potential, for all levels of learning in apprentices we see a rise in earnings in future years"
And to give an example, one year after study, the data shows the highest earnings for those who achieved an advanced apprenticeship that year were in Engineering (£37,880), Public Services (£32,330) and Manufacturing Technologies (£35,600).
Beyond earnings, there are a range of other rewards for taking on an apprenticeship.
Learning ‘on the job’ means networking opportunities, ongoing support from the employer, peer-to-peer support, social benefits, and financial perks such as discounts and paid annual leave.
5. We’re making apprenticeships the best they’ve ever been
More and more people are choosing to do high-quality apprenticeships which are designed by employers to ensure people have the skills and experience needed to get a good job in a top sector.
People should have confidence that if they choose to do an apprenticeship, it meets the highest standards possible. That’s why we’re pushing the boundaries of what is possible, investing in high quality training and driving up the quality of apprenticeships wherever possible to make sure they’re the best they can be.
We’ve recently announced an online rating platform where apprentices can rate their apprenticeships and provide feedback to help future apprentices choose a course that’s right for them.
We want as many apprentices as possible to finish their programme and reap the benefits this brings. We know there is always room to improve, which is why we want to hear from the people who know best – the apprentices, apprenticeship training providers and employers.
We’ll be launching an exit feedback tool in the autumn, so if you decide to leave your apprenticeship early, for example to take up another training route or job, then you will have a chance to leave feedback to help us support future apprentices.
If you think doing an apprenticeship might be the game changer you were looking for to take the next step in your education and career, visit Find an apprenticeship - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and see what exciting opportunities there are in your area.