Why apprentices are the real winners?

Traditional Education, it’s just what people do! A pathway set for generations, weaving you through secondary school, college and onto university, where you enjoy your first sense of freedom. All this learning, with the aim of broadening your horizons, improving your future earning opportunities and all whilst building unforgettable life experiences.

Sounds great right?

Whilst we have no doubt that traditional learning still works for a huge proportion of the young adult population, we do question whether less conventional pathways such as apprenticeships are often overlooked without consideration due fear of veering off the beaten track and bucking tradition?

So, if this is you and you’re worried about taking the wrong turn, the Skills Group are here to set the record straight and guide you on the pathway to apprenticeship success. As a Devon based organisation with over 25 years delivering quality apprenticeship programmes across a range of sectors, we have a strong belief that apprentices might just be the real winners.

1. Real World Experience

It’s fair to say College and University are nothing like a typical workplace. Of course, there are deadlines, you have to work hard and be ready to learn quickly, but there is a marked contrast between the classroom and a thriving work environment.

As an apprentice you get stuck straight into the working world, learning first-hand from those in your chosen sector, experiencing a thriving work environment and able to see tangible results from the work you deliver.

It’s even been reported that many employers will favour an apprentice over a graduate, due to their more practical experience and learning.

2. Progression Pathways

For many, there remains a strong belief that career progression is heavily influenced by whether you choose further education or not. The truth is, progression is all about you as an individual, your work ethic, and your ability to be proactive and deliver great work. 

When it comes to the progression of an apprentice, with many courses starting as young as 16, in the time it takes a traditional learner to complete their degree, there is room for course completion and numerous promotions, with many even reaching junior management roles by the time they reach their early 20’s.

The business you choose to work for as an apprentice will also play a significant role in your ability to progress. So, take your time to research and choose wisely.

3. Earning Potential

Traditional learning doesn’t pay. For the majority this means relying on the bank of mum and dad, spending all of your spare time working to make ends meet or racking up student debt for 6-8 years depending on where your learning stops.

In contrast an apprentice earns while they learn, right from the day they start the course. The salary typically starts low with the minimum currently set at £5.28 per hour, but there are no limits to how and when this can increase. Not only are you earning an income and building financial independence, but as an apprentice you will benefit from a minimum of 20 days paid holiday per year.

If you think traditional learning is your gateway to higher earning potential, you’ve got it wrong. In fact, studies have shown that apprentices can earn up to 270% more over their lifetime than university graduates.. In this aspect apprentices really are winners!

4. Learning in the style of… You

Through traditional education pathways, you pick a course and are accessed in line with set criteria and objectives as defined by teachers and examining bodies.

In the world of apprenticeships, whilst classroom elements are broadly defined, your role in a business can be shaped and evolve around your needs and interests, making the experience more valuable and giving you more opportunities to thrive and progress in a job you love.

5. The Sky’s the Limit

Traditional education pathways continue to offer thousands of course options, with options to study in the UK, study abroad, or even make the most of a growing number of online courses.

While ten years ago, apprenticeship opportunities would appear more limited with a focus on industries such as hairdressing, trades, childcare and business services, it’s fair to say things have come a long way. In 2023, the possibilities are truly endless as the popularity of apprenticeships continue to grow. Today there are even apprenticeships that could take you into outer space.

So, who’s your winner?

Whilst traditional learning pathways still play an important role for so many young learners, we hope we have given plenty of reasons to take a step off the beaten track and explore the excellent opportunities apprenticeships bring to you; the bright prospects of the future.

By Choosing an apprenticeship with the Skills Group, you can rest assured you are choosing quality and experience, whether you are considering an apprenticeship, full-time course or bespoke career development programmes. As a leading provider in the South West, we are committed to our outstanding learning support, state of the art facilities and our innovative approach to course delivery.

If you are stuck at a crossroad and are unsure which pathway is right for you, contact Skills Group to find out more about their apprenticeship opportunities today.

Call us on – 01752 332 442 or email enquiries@skillsgroupuk.com

Or Apply Today

I just wanted to say the biggest thank you to Vanessa, my trainer. You have made my journey so much easier, I don’t know what I would have done without you. You have been amazing and helped me to achieve my qualification. You’ve guided me through every step of the way, I really appreciate it, Vanessa, you have been my rock.

Katie Shorland, Level 2 Hairdressing

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