What is a modern Apprenticeship?Posted: 25th of January 2016 by Elizabeth Edwards
Apprenticeships have come a long way since their origins in the Middle Ages when they were traditionally offered by Master Craftsmen as an inexpensive way to employ and train young people from the age of 10 in skills such as carpentry. In return for work, apprentices were given food and lodgings and trained for around seven years or until they had mastered their craft.
Today there are over 170 industries employing almost half a million apprentices across the UK. Whilst the more traditional roles are still offered, Apprenticeships today include customer services, IT, accountancy, insurance and retail as well as many other industries. Not only do apprentices benefit from hands on experience but most will also work towards gaining a professional qualification.
Modern apprentices are paid an average of £210 per week as well as receiving the same benefits as other employees. Tasks will vary day to day but the majority of time will be spent working with and learning from experienced colleagues. For example an Apprenticeship in accountancy might include visiting clients and carrying out audits, analysing and interpreting information as a forensic accountant or learning bookkeeping skills, all whilst studying towards an accountancy qualification such as AAT. Generally one day per week is spent studying with learning taking place either on or off site.
Apprenticeships can be studied over a period of 1 to 4 years, often with the possibility to continue on to study higher qualifications. There are also real opportunities for career progression with 90% of apprentices remaining in employment after finishing their Apprenticeship.
What levels are there?
Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels and start from level 2 which is equivalent to 5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C to level 7 which is equivalent to a master’s degree.
How do I apply?
Many organisations hire ahead for September starts and applications can be made while still in education so it’s never too soon to start looking. Entry requirements vary but applicants must be 16 or over and not have a degree, HND, Level 4 or equivalent.
The Government has set a target of 3 million apprentices by 2020, will you be one of them? To find out more, sign up to the Kaplan jobs newsletter or to search our latest vacancies please visit kaplanapprenticeships.co.uk.
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