#NAW2017: 7 reasons to do an apprenticeship

A record number of us are choosing apprenticeships, and it’s no surprise. With 1500 different job roles on offer in over 170 industries, it’s a savvy way to boost your job prospects. Here are 7 reasons why you should consider kick-starting your career with an apprenticeship:

1) Earn while you learn
An apprenticeship is a real job with training, which means you get a salary and paid holiday while you learn. If you’re 16-18 or 19 and in the first year of your apprenticeship, the National Minimum Wage is £3.40 an hour, but this is rising to £3.50 in April 2017. That might not sound like a lot, but it sure beats student debt!

2) Receive on-the-job training from industry professionals
The majority of businesses don’t think school leavers and graduates are ‘work-ready’. Apprentices get ahead of the competition; on-the-job training equips you with the hands-on experience you need to boost your employability, add value to your organisation and progress in your career. Plus, you get to learn from highly-trained professionals in your chosen sector.

3) Get nationally-recognised qualifications
As part of your apprenticeship, you will gain nationally-recognised qualifications that demonstrate your practical competency and knowledge.

4) Progression opportunities
A high number of apprentices receive a pay rise or promotion after completing their apprenticeships, which just goes to show how far you can progress. With a wide range of Advanced and Higher Level apprenticeships now available, you can work your way up and achieve university-level qualifications.

5) Make industry contacts
We’ve all heard the “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” line. An apprenticeship gives you the perfect opportunity to build relationships in the sector you want to work in and make contacts that will stand you in good stead for the future.

6) Benefit from support, advice and guidance
Throughout your apprenticeship, you will receive support, advice and guidance from a dedicated training coordinator who will help you get the best out of your training.

7) Gain a place at university
Apprenticeships aren’t just for those of us who don’t want to go to uni. In fact, an apprenticeship can help secure your place. Taking time out after A Levels to build practical experience and develop your skill set in a relevant field is no bad thing, and will set you apart from other candidates.

And if that hasn’t convinced you, check out our blog on celebrity apprentices who made it BIG.

I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!

Jaimee Benson, Level 2 Hairdressing

I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!

Will Birch, Level 2 Bricklaying

Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up

Sam Collard, Level 2 Light Vehicle and Maintenance Repair

The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.

Ben Freeman, Level 2 Carpentry

I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!

Luke Kowalski, Teaching Assistant and former apprentice at Sir Robert Gefferys School