Apprenticeships have risen considerably in recent years and are now more popular than they’ve ever been before.
Whilst there’s always been an unfair perception that apprenticeships are second class to degrees, more and more young people are realising the value of them and are choosing them over the traditional academic route of going to university.
So what is it that has caused this surge in the UK of people choosing apprenticeships? We’re going to take a look at a few of the reasons why an apprenticeship could be right for you.
Earn while you learn
One of the most appealing reasons for choosing an apprenticeship over a degree is that you have the chance to earn an income whilst learning, an option that many young people prefer.
This acts as a great motivator as earning money will give you a sense of independence and achievement after a hard day’s work!
There’s no set amount for an apprenticeship salary but employers are legally required to pay you at least the National Minimum Wage. This applies to those under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year (this rate changes when you enter into your second year of an apprenticeship i.e. after 12 months).
On average, achieving a level 2 or level 3 apprenticeship boosts earnings by 11% and 16% respectively. Although there is variation by subject, most subjects deliver a return of around 10%
However, many employees choose to pay more than the National Minimum Wage rate and as your skills continue to develop, your earnings will increase too!
Gain practical skills
Kicking off your career with an apprenticeship is also a brilliant way to gain first-hand knowledge of how an industry works and gain practical skills along the way.
Not only will you pick up skills in the profession you want to progress in (eg. cooking, building, engineering, caring) but also other worthwhile skills like team building and organisation.
Additionally, being in the workplace will also help you to develop your social skills and your confidence.
Many of these skills can even be transferred to other careers and will help you to stand out as valuable to employers so an apprenticeship is never a waste of time!
Also, every apprenticeship scheme is designed by the Sector Skills Council, with the help of employers within your chosen industry. So you know that you’ll learn and develop the key skills necessary to do the job well.
Boost your career prospects
Every apprenticeship scheme is tailored around the needs of the employer, so you’ll gain invaluable experience and develop key skills that employers within your desired industry want.
On completing your apprenticeship, you may be offered full-time employment or advance to a higher-level apprenticeship programme.
Not only will an apprenticeship make you an attractive prospect for future employers, it will also help you enhance your longer-term career prospects and earning potential.
Working as an apprenticeship can also be a great networking opportunity & knowing the right people can be a huge boost for your career!
Achieve a valuable qualification
It isn’t just practical skills and experience you’ll gain during your apprenticeship, you’ll also achieve a respected and sought-after qualification in your chosen field.
Depending on your programme, this could be anything from GCSE to degree-level equivalent and for some industries these sector-specific qualifications are even more valuable than gaining a relevant degree!
And even if you do choose to do something else at the end of it, you’ll still have something valuable to represent the time you spent during your apprenticeship.
You’ll avoid student loans
Finally, an obvious reason why apprenticeships are on the rise compared to the route of taking a degree is the lack of student loans you’ll have at the end of it!
After completing a degree at university the average debt you can expect is £35,000 but some students can pay much more than this depending on the length of their course.
As an apprentice, the entire cost of your education and training is covered by the government and you can start earning a salary straight away so you’re left with zero debt- a big bonus!
If you think an apprenticeship could be the perfect option for you and want to rise above then get in touch today!
To find out more about the wide range of flexible and tailored apprenticeships we offer click here.