Apprenticeships are real jobs – with plenty of hands-on experience, a salary and the chance to gain your qualifications – all while getting that real-world work experience you’ll need for your next step.
With an apprenticeship, you’re on a career path. There’s a plan in place and a pathway for you to take, and you’ll earn your salary from your very first day on the job.
Apprenticeships are on the rise, with more and more school leavers, adults and mature learners choosing this route to kick start their career. We find out why…
They’re truly an alternative to university
With entry-level, higher and even degree level apprenticeships available, you can go as far as you choose – even all the way to a Bachelor’s degree – while earning a wage and gaining real world experience. What’s more, unlike university, an apprenticeship is government-funded, meaning there’s nothing for you to pay.
A student leaving university could end up with more than £50,000 worth of debt – and that’s before they’ve earned their very first wage!
2. You can earn whilst you learn
You’ll be entitled to at least 20 hours per year holiday pay, and you’re paid for the hours you spend at college or training too.
3. Anyone can become an apprentice
It doesn’t matter how old you are, what stage you’re at in your career or whether you’re thinking of retraining entirely and starting your dream job – anyone can do an apprenticeship.
Emma, pictured right, is 36 and decided to start a career as a healthcare assistant that would fit around her family life.
She’s now working for the NHS Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust and loves the flexibility of her new role.
4. You'll gain the practical experience you need
Each apprenticeship pathway is designed by employers in your industry, together with the Sector Skills Council – meaning every programme is created with your key work skills and career success in mind.
Many employers value practical job experience as much as a qualification, so an apprenticeship really does help supercharge your career.
5. You're gaining industry-specific qualifications
You’ll be gaining plenty of practical skills, but you’re also achieving relevant and recognised qualifications that’ll support your on-the-job learning.
For some employers, these industry-specific qualifications are often seen as equally or more valuable than a Bachelor’s degree in a similar field. With your additional experience and hands-on training, you’ll be a cut above the rest when it comes to job progression or seeking a new position.