Attitudes to apprenticeships are changing, and far from being a second-class option a recent study showed that just over half of pupils no longer see a university degree as the route to faster career success.
The Prudential undertook their own research, finding that 51% of pupils disagree that graduates are more likely to find faster career success than those who take an apprenticeship. Of those asked, only a quarter said they felt that apprenticeships were not the best career path.
While it seems the attitudes of young people towards apprenticeships are changing fast, the research suggests that many parents are yet to catch up with the trend. When it came to parents, 43% still believed that apprenticeships were primarily for lower-skilled and low-paid sectors.
This common belief is something of a throwback to an earlier time, as government data shows that 92% of employers are happy to pay above the apprentice minimum wage of £3.30 an hour for those under 19 or in their first year of study. With wages higher than the minimum and opportunities in over 170 industries, including advertising, marketing, and law, these old ideas of apprenticeships have definitely changed. You can check out the range of apprenticeships and see for yourself right here on NotGoingtoUni.
Modern apprenticeships are being taken seriously as an option by an increasing number of young people as they offer the opportunity to get involved in the world of work from the start, building experience while getting trained for a chosen career and earning a wage at the same time. With the increasing cost of university, many are looking at alternative routes into work, while the prospect of long-term employment offered by an apprenticeship offsets the lower starting wage – especially when the cost of university tuition is taken into account.
With a greater focus on apprenticeships in recent years, the reputation of this route into work has changed from being something only concerned with lower-paid employment or manual work. Many careers that previously required a university degree have now been opened up to the apprenticeship route – meaning that you could now train as a solicitor, for example, without having to head off to uni (and pay the fees associated with it).
Of course, university remains a good option for some and some careers are still only available via the university route. That being said, it is surely worth checking the alternatives in order to get started on your career right away, gaining the experience to give you a head-start while being trained specifically for the career you want – and avoiding building up tens of thousands of pounds in debt.
An apprenticeship also offers the bonus of being able to meet people working in your chosen industry from day one (check out these networking tips to help you get ahead). Building up contacts can be a great boon to your career goals, while the time spent gaining experience will give you a head-start on those who are leaving university with no real relevant work experience in your chosen career.
With many apprentices going straight into work once they qualify, as compared to the numbers of graduates who struggle to find a graduate job once they leave university, your chances of getting a decent job is higher with an apprenticeship. Many apprentices end up remaining in employment with the company who offered their training, which makes perfect sense as employers seek to make good on the time and money that they have invested in their apprentices. Employers also love apprentices as they offer a chance to train new employees from scratch, before bad habits begin, and within the culture of the business.
With great employment opportunities, no debt, and relevant experience, it seems that apprenticeships are no longer the poor cousin to degree courses, but what about wages? Surely the whole point of university is to invest in your future, with the prospect of earning a higher wage once you graduate?
That is no longer always the case as a recent report showed some apprentices can look to earn up to 270% more than those who went to university!
It’s little wonder more young people are being turned on to the benefits of taking an apprenticeship!