What is and why choose an apprenticeship

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What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a genuine job which combines practical training with career-specific study. 

Apprentices work full-time in paid employment, while also gaining important qualifications. 

It means they are on a career path with lots of future potential, gaining job-specific skills. 

Time is set aside for study related to the role (usually the equivalent of one day a week). 

It’s possible to do an apprenticeship in pretty much anything, at any age: Before making a choice, though, it’s wise to think about a potential apprentice’s skills and strengths, and the kind of environment the apprenticeship will be in.  

For example: are they organised, would they be confident speaking on the phone, are they good with IT? Then an office-based role might fit the bill. 

If they are methodical, and like figuring out how things work, then engineering may be the better route. 

And if they like being outdoors, enjoy a physical job, and would be happy working in different locations, maybe construction is a choice worth considering.

Why choose an apprenticeship?

Apprentices will earn while they learn, and grow a valued career at the same time as becoming part of a team.

90% of apprentices stay in employment after completion of studies, and 33% gain promotion within 12 months.

More than 50% of apprentices who stay with their employer reach a level of management in the space of five years.

Just don’t expect to go in and be CEO in the first week! This is a long-term career commitment, so apprentices need to have realistic expectations. 

Apprentices are treated as normal members of staff, and given real responsibility.

They build a range of skills and knowledge, and earn the trust of their colleagues by showing commitment and reliability.

The maximum working hours of an apprentice are 40 hours a week. 

While apprenticeships tend to suit people who want to be hands on, there are still minimum grades required. For level 2 apprenticeships, candidates will need at least a grade D or 3, and for level 3 apprenticeships they will need C or 3 in both maths and English. 

It’s really important for them to see out some kind of experience in the apprenticeship to make sure it’s the right route to take. 

This can be done by enrolling onto a college course in the same industry, or securing some work experience.