So you’re becoming more and more desperate to get out of full-time education and out there into the working world... but what about skills and qualifications that you need for your career?
What's the best way of getting those skills and qualifications? An apprenticeship.
Not only will you gain those skills and qualifications, but also the work experience employers are looking for these days. Another advantage to an apprenticeship is that you pay nothing for your training... in fact, you’ll get paid to learn what you need to know for a successful start to your chosen career.
Of course, an apprenticeship does mean that you’ll be spending a certain amount of time in the classroom - but nowhere near on a full-time basis. Most of your training would take place in the workplace, where your training would be monitored and you’d face the occasional test to make sure you're progressing satisfactorily.
Your employers would foot the bill for your training, and they’ll make sure there’s always somebody on hand to help you with any problems you could find yourself running up against.
There are thousands of apprenticeships, in hundreds of fields available today - but applying for one doesn't automatically mean you'll be accepted right away. In fact, going after an apprenticeship these days is much the same as going after a real job, in that you have to apply, have a certain amount of qualifications to start with... and go through an interview process before learning whether or not you've been shortlisted for the apprenticeship position.
However, once you've been taken on as an apprentice not only will you be receiving the training you need for your new career, but you’ll also be entitled to the kind of employee benefits available to the people you’re working with, such as paid holidays and paid sickness leave.
And, of course, there's always the question of money: as an apprentice, you are entitled to a government-set a minimum apprenticeship wage of £2.65 an hour. For the most part, companies choose to pay somewhat more than that, but the rate will change either at the beginning of your second year as an apprentice or when you hit the age of 19. In either case, you’ll then be entitled to the national minimum wage for your age group.
As for the length of your apprenticeship, that's entirely dependent on your chosen industry and the company training you... as well as your capabilities. New government regulations mean that an apprenticeship has to last for at least 12 months, but some can go on for three or four years.
However long your apprenticeship may last, it's a definite investment in your future in so many ways - not least in that since its expensive and risky recruiting from outside, and since you have precisely the kind of training your employer requires, it could well be that the most suitable person to fill any vacancy there after your apprenticeship would be... you!
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