Apprenticeships: Are You Experienced?Posted: 28th of April 2015 by
When people talk about Apprenticeships, the focus is often on the financial side of things. You may have heard that, on average, newly qualified apprentices earn around £4,000 per year more than graduates who are also entering their first job. You may also be attracted to the lack of tuition fees that come with doing an apprenticeship, meaning that you will not be thousands of pounds in debt when you qualify – unlike your peers who went to university. However, money is not everything when it comes to choosing whether or not to do an apprenticeship.
With a great many young people choosing to go to university, it is clear that tuition fees are not seen as a problem for many. Not to pretend that everyone can easily afford the fees of up to £9,000 per year, but rather that many students simply put it out of their minds. For many, the debts incurred while studying for a degree are a means to an end – a rite of passage almost. With loan schemes allowing you to borrow the money, and not requiring you to start repayments until you are earning above a certain income, many young people are happy to put the debts to the back of their minds. After all, those who are borrowing to get through university are far from being in the minority, meaning that it is now seen as ‘normal’ to graduate with thousands of pounds of debt.
Tuition fees are one thing, but what of the statistics that suggest graduates earn less in their first job than apprentices? This statistic may have come as a surprise to those who see the traditional university route as a short-cut to higher wages and better job prospects. Of course, you may argue, there are some graduate roles that offer seriously high wages – and if you are lucky enough to land one of these- you could be one of those who buck the trend and earn more than the average. While it may take some serious self-confidence to place yourself with such lofty prospects, there is one thing that a university degree simply cannot compete with apprenticeships for.
This thing, which all employers love to see, is experience.
It is true that many university courses will offer periods of work experience, but these simply cannot compete with the direct, on-the-job training that an apprenticeship affords. Instead of primarily learning the theory of the workplace with a small amount of work experience, an apprenticeship turns the university model on its head. Apprentices, instead, spend much more time in the workplace, doing the job itself, while taking time to learn on the side.
Provided you have a good idea what area you would like to work in, you can find an apprenticeship to suit and start your training while gaining direct, relevant, on-the-job training. Many apprentices go on to gain employment with the company they trained with – who will obviously be keen to recoup on the investment they have made in building your skills.
However, even if you don’t manage to land a position with your apprenticeship-providing company, just ask yourself which is more appealing to an employer? Someone who has learnt the theory of how to do a specific job, or those who have actually been doing the job, and getting a qualification to prove their knowledge at the same time?
Many employers, it seems, like the experience before the theory – provided you can prove your ability too, of course! An apprenticeship offers this, so surely, looking to your future in the workplace, it is worth at least considering an apprenticeship as an option?
You can see the current list of apprenticeships on our site, at the link below, so ave a look and see if the experience and training you need is available right there:
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