In recent years, there has been a marked shift in opinion amongst employers over the value of apprenticeships. This has largely coincided with the introduction of the new Apprenticeship Standards which helped to ensure that there is standardisation across learning outcomes. This means that future employers can be guaranteed that former apprentices have the skills that are necessary to seamlessly slot into the relevant job role in their companies.
Apprenticeships are rapidly becoming acknowledged as one of the most effective routes to achieving a successful career. Increasingly, they are being perceived as an ideal way to plug the skills gaps that have appeared in many businesses due to a combination of European workers leaving because of Brexit and the “Great Resignation” following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Employment prospects in the immediate months following an apprenticeship are excellent. Following the completion of an apprenticeship scheme with a Level 4 vocational qualification, 85% of apprentices will stay in the job role, with over two-thirds of these people remaining with the same employer. It’s quite a remarkable statistic and shows how valuable an apprenticeship can be for the apprentices in the short term.
It is a testament to the value of the skills that they have learned during the apprenticeship that the employers are choosing to keep them on past the end of the apprenticeship and reflects a growing desire to retain quality staff and avoid lengthy recruitment processes to replace people and perhaps have to train the new people to the required standard.
Alongside the immediate employment prospects, apprenticeships have proven to provide other considerable benefits including vastly increased feelings of self-confidence and self-worth. If you have recently completed an apprenticeship, and are keen on a change of scene, then the skills and attributes you have developed during your training will broaden the career paths available to you.
Indeed, 80% of apprentices state their training provided them with the sector-relevant skills and knowledge needed to boost their career prospects, allowing them to reach their future potential.
Employers continue to show commitment to promoting former apprentices to higher positions within the company. Almost 20% of employers have former apprentices working in board-level positions, demonstrating businesses do not solely reserve this level of career progression for those that have attended university.
Apprentices are better placed in some ways than University graduates as they have been engaged in both studies through the off-the-job component which makes up 20% of the apprenticeship and on-the-job training in the job role which makes up the other 80%.
Many University graduates lack actual experience in doing the job and may have had to work in an entirely different field during University in order to pay for their tuition fees and living costs. Apprentices, by comparison, are paid for the duration of their apprenticeship while they are accumulating relevant and valuable experience in the workplace.
Progression can be speedy for former apprentices; over half of companies stated successful former apprentices would take approximately five years to reach the management level. This is an exceptional level of career advancement and is proof that employers value the quality of the apprenticeship qualifications and believe the former apprentices to be highly qualified and skilled in their chosen field of work.
Types of Careers
There is a whole range of sectors in which you can take an apprenticeship, each leading to a variety of career paths. We have provided a brief summary of the sectors covered, the types of jobs available and the leading employers in the industry:
Creative, Media, Arts and Digital Technology
Career prospects include photography, journalism and technical theatre.
Information and Communication
Careers include systems analysts, IT security experts, website developers and network engineers. Employers include large IT companies such as BT, Capgemini and Santander.
TV Production and Broadcasting
Job roles in this sector range from broadcast production assistants, to camera crew assistants and content researchers. The major employers include BBC Academy, 4Talent and Sky Academy.
Business Management, Administration, Law and Finance
Job roles range drastically in this sector and include marketing, consultancy and HR. There are also a variety of legal roles such as solicitors and conveyancing technicians.
Construction and Planning
Construction is a varied sector that includes jobs ranging from hands-on plumbing, heating and builders to civil engineers and chartered surveyors.
Engineering and Manufacturing
There is a range of engineering sectors open to apprentices including aerospace, power, defence and nuclear industries as well as the vehicle and automotive industries. Manufacturing roles cover furniture crafts, silversmiths as well as food technology and production.
Health and Social Care
Careers include maternity support assistants, pharmacy assistants, dental nurses and social workers. The NHS is the largest employer in this sector.
Life and Industrial Sciences
Career prospects mostly centre around research-based jobs such as lab or manufacturing technicians.
Retail and Commercial Enterprise
Job roles in this industry vary from customer service assistants to hospitality managers and hair and beauty technicians.
Agriculture, Horticulture and Animals
This broad sector covers jobs from framing to veterinary nursing and land-based engineering. Employers in this sector tend to be smaller businesses as well as farms of all sizes.
These apprenticeships can lead you to a variety of careers, including fire and ambulance services, youth workers or social service workers.
If you are interested in a career in teaching, apprenticeships are available to begin teacher training and become a learning support assistant.
Leisure, Travel and Tourism
Job roles range from travel consultants to personal trainers and exercise and fitness coaches.
To explore the full range of apprenticeships available, and the variety of job roles following completion, visit our Apprenticeship Standards Archive or browse our Apprenticeships Job Board for live opportunities in your area.