Apprenticeships - a viable alternative to university

Posted: 20th of December 2012 by Anonymous

One of the best - and most rewarding - career decisions you could make these days is to opt for a much more viable alternative to a university education.  Granted, uni isn't for everybody - even more so in these days of inflated tuition fees and a rapidly-shrinking number of available places, so the alternative we'd like to suggest is an apprenticeship.

But why is it a much more viable alternative to uni?  Well, for a start, let's talk money.  Graduates leave university with their degree that qualifies them for the career of their choice ... but also, on average, with over fifty thousand pounds of debt hanging over their head, which they've got to pay off - plus interest.

Admittedly, they have to have reached a salary threshold of - at present - £21,000 before they start having to make any repayments, but it's still a huge amount to have to deal with - either in the short or the long term.

On the other hand, an apprenticeship actually pays people while they're learning.  Legally, an apprentice's employer should be paying them at least the government's set minimum apprenticeship wage of £2.65 an hour, but most companies choose to pay somewhat more than that.  In fact, it's been shown that the average apprentice takes home around £170/week ... and in some cases their wages can even be as high as £210.

And that's not including any other financial assistance companies offer their apprentices, to help with travel, learning materials and sometimes accommodation, as well.

So that's why an apprenticeship is an excellent alternative to university - at least in terms of money.

But there's another reason, too:  presently, nearly 40% of recent graduates are still looking for work - of any kind - while many of those in employment have gone for jobs that have nothing to do with the graduate position they've been preparing for, for so long.  And that's a pretty disappointing statistic - or even disastrous, when you look at it from the point of view of the poor humanities graduate stacking shelves in Poundland to make ends meet.

However, an apprenticeship isn't just the opportunity to train for your chosen career - it's also your chance to impress your employers during that training, which can last for at least one year, but can go on for much longer.  And if they see that you're diligent, hardworking and trustworthy – in short, an asset to the company during your apprenticeship, there's a very good chance you'll be invited to stay on as a permanent employee once your training is finished.

And that, these days, is definitely an advantage, isn't it?



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