Careers advice in education are still treating apprenticeships as a secondary option. This is evident at colleges up and down the country where the focus is primarily on university applications, personal statements, and UCAS points.
However, apprenticeships are valuable to those young people who do not enjoy or flourish participating in formal education, or whose career goals don’t align with university education.
How apprenticeships have changed
Apprenticeships were once seen as a way to enter manual labour if a young person wasn’t a “high achiever” at school. However, this is no longer the case. Now there are over 1,500 occupations across many sectors that offer apprenticeships. They range from engineering to nuclear science, law, fashion and banking.
The pros of apprenticeships
There are many considerable pros of apprenticeships. Some of these include:
- Learning on the job
- Earning whilst learning
- Becoming a specialist in your chosen field
- Having work experience to back this up
- Option to change courses
- No crippling amount of debt that typically comes with a university degree
Over the course of an apprenticeship, the money earned may also increase. This is especially true in multi-year apprenticeships, as the more experience you gain, the more you can earn.
With apprenticeships you are gaining a qualification up to degree at Batchelor and Master level whilst working and earning. For instance, in engineering, apprentices can complete an engineering degree, whilst also earning a salary, and they don’t come out of the degree saddled with debt but with a full time salary and a minimum of 4 years on the job experience.
Another benefit of apprenticeships is the support an apprentice receives during their training throughout from both managers and mentors, which can also help them to progress, as the help they receive is practical. This differs from university education, as most of the help students receive in degree courses is based on theory, or hypothetical situations. In the workplace, these situations really happen, and the hands-on experience can help to develop an apprentice even further.
Benefits to the employer
There are also benefits to employers hiring apprentices. Apprentices can be a breath of fresh air to a company, and they provide managers and mentors with someone to train, upskill and give necessary skills to, as well as providing these managers with opportunities to improve their efficiency.
Not forgetting the funding from the government. As part of the government scheme for each apprentice you’ll pay 5% of the cost of training and the government will pay the remaining 95%, making it mutually beneficial, as it gives a someone an opportunity and free qualification and the business gains a qualified employee.
Apprenticeships are a great way to build your workforce and should not been seen as a second choice, but as an equal pathway to the workplace as university.
At CogniSoft we provide learner management systems for skills and employability providers to ensure that they can deliver the best service to their users to ensure the most successful outcomes. Get in touch to see how we can help by calling us on 0161 777 2900
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