What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a skilled job with training. Every apprentice is guaranteed a minimum wage linked to their age. They’re available at all academic levels – whether you’re leaving school without GCSEs or completing your A-levels. There are apprenticeships in industries like engineering, health and accountancy – plus a host of careers you’d never think of. And 9 out of 10 apprentices stay in work after completing their course.
Apprenticeships are available through both colleges and employer-led schemes. However, to start an apprenticeship you will need to be offered a job opportunity first. You cannot start an apprenticeship without first having a job. St Michael’s staff and colleges will support you to look for opportunities and you should stay in regular contact if you are looking for an opportunity in this area. Parents are welcome to attend any careers appointment with their son or daughter.
A higher apprenticeship is your ticket to a high-skilled job. You’ll usually need at least 2 A-levels to start one, and you’ll come out with qualifications equivalent to a foundation degree or higher – with any tuition fees paid by your employer! Higher apprentices can earn between £300-500 per week (although you may start lower). You could train to be a solicitor or a lab scientist, and even learn how to design sweets with a confectionery apprenticeship!
Should I apply for an apprenticeship or university?
Today, apprenticeships offer a route into high-skilled jobs that you had to go to university to train for in the past. If you know what career path you want to follow, an apprenticeship could get you there without the fees – while enabling you to develop employability skills too. University is essential for certain careers and great for those with passionate academic interests. Carefully consider the pros and cons of both university and apprenticeships before making your decision.
Degree apprenticeships guarantee you a university degree, as well as on-the-job training for a high-skilled job. You’ll spend 30 hours a week learning from experienced colleagues at work, and the equivalent of one day studying towards a bachelor’s or master’s degree at university or college. It gives you the kudos and academic grounding of a degree along with sought-after employability skills employers say graduates don’t have. And 8 out of 10 parents think it’s better than an Oxbridge degree!
Labour Market Trends?
The ultimate aim of education is to help you access the labour market. Therefore, when deciding what to study it is also important to think about which industries are growing in the local area and which are not. For more information, you can visit the World of Work or Nomis, which provides information about the labour market by area in the UK.
Today qualifications alone may not be enough to access job opportunities or higher education. Volunteering for just a few hours a week may help make an application form stand out and show an employer/education provider that you have something to offer over and above other potential applicants. For opportunities available in your local area you can visit the Do-It Trust or visit the Volunteer Centre for Sandwell.