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Considering alternatives to further study but not sure why you should apply for an apprenticeship? We’ve got eleven great reasons right here.
An apprenticeship is a paid work placement at a company, with an emphasis on training and learning on the job.
But far from just being a method to gain a qualification which will eventually lead to a job, apprenticeships have tonnes of other benefits that you just don’t get with a university degree.
Without further ado, here’s 11 great benefits of doing an apprenticeship:
Apprenticeships are the polar opposite of a university degree in terms of finance: rather than paying through the nose to learn, you’re actually paid.
With university fees at £9,250 a year and rising, as well as factoring in all the associated accommodation and living expenses, three years at university can cost over £50,000.
On the other hand, apprentices earn money on top of not accruing debt, so come away better off.
This is despite employers sometimes valuing apprenticeship experience as much as a university degree - so consider carefully which route you’d rather take.
The current apprenticeship minimum wage is £3.90 an hour, but some employers may pay over this. This applies to apprentices under 19 or aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship; employees older than 19 who have passed the first year of their apprenticeship are entitled to more.
The concept of apprenticeships goes back to the 12th century where children would be apprenticed to tradesmen to learn trades such as woodwork, stonemasonry and metalworking.
Up until a few years ago an apprenticeship was widely viewed as being restricted to industries like construction and carpentry.
Conversely, today apprenticeships are available in 1500 job roles across 170 industries.
Here are just a few job roles you can complete an apprenticeship in:
Digital marketing, retail management, recruitment, animal care and welfare, floristry, library services, adult care work, butchery, baking, food preparation, engineering, watchmaking, fashion and textiles, design, journalism, cyber security, data analysis, IT, teaching, furniture manufacturing, beauty and make up, dentistry assistance, accountancy.
Even better, they’re usually vocational- meaning they’ll lead to a career.
Apprenticeships are an opportunity to gain ‘real-world’ experience away from the artificial environment of the classroom or lecture hall.
Although many apprenticeships do have ‘classroom based’ sessions, the majority is learnt on-the-job.
If you’re someone who learns through doing, or gets bored in an academic environment, an apprenticeship could be the ideal solution - giving you the best of both worlds.
Doing an apprenticeship is an excellent way to strengthen your CV, packing it full of experience.
The key to writing a good CV is to have lots of real-world experience to flaunt, and so doing an apprenticeship gives you plenty of material to write about.
Apprenticeship training providers will work closely with your employer to make sure that you receive full structured training, meaning you won’t be left to fend for yourself.
This training includes:
- A full induction programme
- Detailed training plans
- Regular progress reviews
- Opportunities to implement your course based learning
- Mentoring and support throughout your apprenticeship
This is all aimed at supporting your personal development, helping you adjust to the world of work.
Another of the many advantages of apprenticeships is that you’ll have the opportunity to meet and network with hundreds of people.
This includes your colleagues, managers, and higher-ups in the company.
Many job posts are passed around by word of mouth. If you’ve ever heard the phrase ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, this is where it really matters.
Meeting - and wowing- colleagues and bosses will stand you in good stead when you’re next job-seeking - some of them might be able to pull some crucial strings to get you your next job.
As well as buckets of important experience, you’ll gain an official qualification.
This qualification is free, in contrast to a university degree which, as previously mentioned, costs an average of £27,750 for a three year course.
This apprenticeship qualification carries clout, in many industries being just as important as a degree.
Doing an apprenticeship is a valuable opportunity to get your foot in the door of a business.
Finding a first job can be really tricky, but when recruiting an apprentice businesses lower the bar, understanding the lack of experience you have.
An apprenticeship, then, is an ideal way to get in and work your way up in a business, progressing into different roles and ranks as you gain skills and experience.
Education can sometimes foster a lack of confidence, being less interactional and students usually being surrounded by people the same age and background as themselves.
A benefit of apprenticeships is that you’ll be out meeting a variety of people, spanning different ages and experience levels from the beginning.
If it’s a customer-facing role, you’ll gain confidence quickly in interacting with a wide range of people in different situations.
This has positive implications for your personal development and social life, too.
Some employers treat their apprentices very well. Apprentices can be a real asset to a business and so many employers offer extra perks - although this varies from employer to employer.
A real advantage is that, conversely to university students, as you’re an employee you’ll get paid holiday leave.
Although technically apprentices aren’t ‘students’, The National Union of Students (NUS) do a special NUS Apprentice Extra Card.
This gives you discounts in many places including with top clothing brands.
As well as all the student discount benefits offered by this card, you might also be eligible for discounts on transport costs, for which you’d have to check with your local transport provider.
For example, TFL do an Apprentice Oyster card meaning if you're 18 or over, live in a London borough and are in your first year of an apprenticeship, you can get discounted travel.
This is just another way that doing an Apprenticeship is healthy for your bank balance.
How much you're paid on an apprenticeship depends on the level of apprenticeship, and its location.
Many are below national minimum wage, but some can go much further above it, depending on location and the company providing the apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships in London can benefit from London weighting, which sometimes makes them better paid than graduate jobs.
So there you have it - eleven great reasons why you should apply for an apprenticeship.
From saving a tonne of money, to gaining essential experience and confidence in the working world, an apprenticeship might just be the next step you’re looking for.
If you need help crafting your CV to apply for an apprenticeship, Purple CV can create you a bespoke CV.