Apprenticeships are a great way to get your foot in the door of any career you want to pursue. They offer a paying job, experience in the industry you choose, and the training required to become qualified in the role.
Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16 who is not enrolled in full-time education. They can last anywhere from 1 to 5 years, depending on the level of apprenticeship taken up.
There are four levels of apprenticeship, each with an equivalent educational level:
- Intermediate, level 2 (equivalent to GCSEs)
- Advanced, level 3 (equivalent to A levels)
- Higher, levels 4-7 (equivalent to a foundation degree and above)
- Degree, levels 6-7 (equivalent to a bachelor’s or master’s degree)
According to government research, nearly 9 in 10 apprentices are satisfied with their apprenticeship overall. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why apprenticeships are so popular.
Get first-hand experience of an industry
Whether you have spent a long time dreaming about a certain job, or if you have just decided on a potential career recently, an apprenticeship will show you the reality of doing the job.
You will also learn about the routine and requirements involved in the world of work, and work alongside experience colleagues who will guide you through the whole process.
Gain the skills you need to succeed
As part of this learning process, you will identify the skills you possess and those you lack for the job.
The good thing about an apprenticeship is that you are learning while doing the job, meaning that the more time you spend as an apprentice, the more equipped you will become to do the job.
You will also learn transferable ‘soft skills’ that will do you good no matter where you end up, such as communication skills and team working.
Study for a qualification
When you have completed your apprenticeship, you will have a formal qualification to show for it alongside the skills and experience gained.
This will put you in a great position to pursue other work in the same or a similar industry, with potential employers able to see the work you have already put in.
Earn while you learn
The minimum wage for an apprentice is going up on April 1st 2019 from £3.70 per hour to £3.90 per hour, though employers can pay whatever they wish above this.
The cost of your training will also be covered, either by your employer or the government.
You will also get at least 20 days of paid holiday per year, plus bank holidays off.
This is one advantage of an apprenticeship over work experience, although apprentices don’t earn as much as someone in a full-time job.
You might get a full-time job out of it
If you enjoy what you do and where you work so much, and if your employer values what you do and wants to keep you, you may just find that you get a full-time job offer at the end of your apprenticeship.
Improved career prospects
Whatever happens at the end of your apprenticeship – whether you take a full-time position with your employer or not – you will benefit from what you have learned during your time there.
The skills and experiences picked up will stay with you for life and benefit you wherever you end up.
Wide variety of industries available
Search the government’s apprenticeship finder tool online for hundreds of potential careers available through the apprenticeship pathway.
Apprenticeship vacancies in Buckinghamshire
Search the WANNABE website for lots of apprenticeship vacancies from Buckinghamshire employers.