Posted: 4th of February 2019 by Lewis Scott
So, what is an apprenticeship? An apprenticeship can be simply be described as a learning experience for young people. Whilst completing an apprenticeship, on-the-job experience is earned as well as relevant qualifications. Differing levels of apprenticeships can be taken, resulting in more specific or tailored qualifications. At NotGoingToUni, we have over 4,000 apprenticeship roles on our site at any one time.
The opportunities are vast and range across multiple sectors, allowing young people to actively search for the industry they are interested in. These sectors can range from hospitality to medical to fashion and offer many different roles within each sector. Opportunities for young people have been dramatically improved with the introduction and development of Degree Apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships in general have seen a massive increase in popularity. Since 2000, there has been a 282% increase in apprenticeship starts. To add to this, there were 912,200 apprentice starts in 2016/17, 12,800 more than the year before. Due to recent changes in the Apprenticeship Levy and training providers, the apprenticeship sector has adapted and evolved. The focus is on bridging the skill gap and providing apprentices with the best possible training in order to progress their careers.
A growing percentage of young people are seeing the benefits of an apprenticeship. As we all know, young people need experience to get a job… but how do they gain experience in the first place? This is a common issue within the teenage community and is often queried. Apprenticeships answer those issues as you gain experience whilst working towards qualifications.
An apprenticeship completion will often result in the employer offering a full-time job as you know the company, sector, role and have proven yourself. It is also the case that the employer will advance your role/job title, meaning you climb the so-called ‘hierarchy’ of the company. The benefits of an apprenticeship completion are important for a young person to consider as there is job security, job progression and also makes you stand out from the crowd.
Life as an Apprentice
The day-to-day roles of an apprentice are not that different to their colleagues. The same tasks are given as well as the independence to complete the tasks. Being an apprentice is all about learning and development. Help will be offered during tasks and the opportunity to have hands-on learning with a specific, relevant task is fundamental for growth both in a working and a personal state of mind. However, nobody wants to hire a ‘robot’, so the ability to interpret situations differently and show initiative is vital for growth.
A big incentive for young people looking at apprenticeships is the fact that you get paid! You can gain on-the-job experience, study towards prestigious qualifications all whilst earning money. Although, if asked, most would deny that money has anything to do with it… it’s important for a young person to be rewarded for their hard work.
Who can do an Apprenticeship?
To be eligible for an apprenticeship, you must have no qualifications above a level 4 and not in full-time education as well as being 16 or over. Apart from that, anyone can apply! The usual candidates are between 16-24 but there are numerous apprentices above the age of 25. Apprenticeships offer a different approach and allow for a possible alteration of career or starting as a 16-year-old and experiencing working life for the first time.
As mentioned above, the differing levels of apprenticeships offer varying results and qualifications:
Intermediate (Level 2) – Equivalent to a GCSE
Advanced (Level 3) – Equivalent to an A-Level
Higher (Level 4,5,6,7) – Foundation Degree
Degree (6 & 7) – Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree
It is apparent that a common conception is that an apprenticeship is generally for someone who wants to do a trade such as plumbing for example. This couldn’t be further from the truth! As mentioned above, the vast nature of the apprenticeship industry means you can get an apprenticeship in almost any sector.
The Change in Apprenticeships
Apprenticeships have changed over the years and with the new RoATP (Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers) regulations, apprenticeships are breaching the skill gap more than ever. Training providers must meet specific regulations and rules, meaning apprentices will gain better service and training. Along with the Apprenticeship Levy, these changes are fundamental in the progression and evolution of apprenticeships.
The changes affect both employers and employees and it is useful to know how. Understanding the working environment and how apprenticeships are changing is vital to succeed and thrive at work.
University fees are currently £9,250 per year plus maintenance fees etc. This has led to a decrease in the numbers of young people deciding to go to university as they are predicted to leave in £50,000 worth of debt. This has also affected the less fortunate young people who want to go to university as they literally cannot afford it. With university fees set to rise once again, apprenticeship participation numbers have risen. I
n 2016/17 there were 912,200 apprentice starts, 12,800 more than the year before. This is set to rise once again, with the infrastructure of apprenticeships improving and university fees set to rise, along with university satisfaction rates at a low.
The Modern World & Apprenticeships
As we are all very aware, our world has changed at an exponential rate over the past couple of decades. From the birth of the computer and internet compatibility came endless opportunity and a significant shift in human history. In the late 2000’s into the 2010’s social media became prevalent throughout society, across all ages. This opened a door for a whole new environment of human interaction as well as opportunities to advertise jobs.
Across our social media platforms, we boast over 50,000 unique followers who are relevant and interested in what we post. This has allowed us to reach people we may not have been able to prior to social media developments.
It is safe to say with ever-changing societal dynamics, the potential for growth is astronomical. Nurturing young people in order to allow these evolutionary developments is vital and something which links to apprenticeships closely. Apprentices have the opportunity to learn in working environments, learning the ropes but also creating their own individual take on situations. It is clear that generational divides create different paths within the working world, but it is often not focused on that generations working together can bring the best of both worlds together. For example, old-fashioned sales techniques combined with modern social media expertise maximises potential.
Brexit, you’ve heard it thousands of times over the past few months and you’re more than likely bored of it. Agreed. However, we need to cover how Brexit may affect apprenticeships. Simply, no one knows! Depending on the trade deal we’re given, EU regulations being imposed and the development of internal tax to trade issues, the effect could improve or deter apprenticeship rates.
One thing is for sure, the economy will be affected by Brexit. In turn, this will have an impact on apprenticeships via individual sectors. Whether this be funding or implementations on resources, cuts or the workforce, we need to be ready. It is more than likely that Brexit won’t change apprenticeships massively and in fact may even lead to a rise in apprenticeships being offered. Another factor is that companies and business may begin to see apprentices more appealing as they are internal, get specific training and understand the responsibilities in times where they may need to take charge.
Apprenticeships could actually help businesses through Brexit due to the funding they receive when taking on apprentices. This could be a catalyst for an increase in apprentice starts which is certainly positive for both young people and employers.
Becoming an Apprentice
If you have any questions regarding apprenticeships, please feel free to contact NotGoingToUni via:
Tel: 0203 691 2800
By Lewis Scott
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