Is an Apprenticeship in Consumer Services a Good Career Path?

Written by Steven Marwick

Is an apprenticeship in consumer services a good career path? Consumer services can refer to a very  wide variety of different jobs but the thing they have in common is that they are providing a service to members of the public. Examples of consumer services jobs are waiting staff in the hospitality sector and hairdresser. 

There are many and varied jobs covered by consumer services and the quality of the career path is largely dependent on the individual job role that your apprenticeship covers. 

Consumer Services in Recent Years

The jobs that are collectively referred to as consumer services have had a hard time over the last couple of years because of the covid-19 pandemic. Many of the occupations that fall under this category, particularly in the hospitality and entertainment sectors have been difficult places to work due to the high risks of contracting Coronavirus and the government lockdowns aimed at getting the pandemic under control.  

Many businesses in these sectors had to close their doors permanently during the pandemic as they just couldn’t generate enough revenue to continue, absent the normal level of customer footfall. This has caused many people to rethink careers in the sector and the “Great Resignation” saw many people leave their jobs in consumer services. 

The Future of Consumer Services in the UK

At the time of writing, there are still cases of Coronavirus in our communities and hospitals, though the actual strains have become less deadly over time, thanks in large part to successful vaccination programs. 

The pandemic showed just how precarious jobs in some sectors can be and that is why many people have moved to alternative sectors they believe are less volatile and are more likely to weather any similar storms in the future. Job security has catapulted up the list of things that employees are now looking for in a workplace and this has unfortunately impacted many jobs in the consumer services sector. 

With the cost of living crisis firmly upon us and many households having to make the awful decision to turn on their heating or to eat, this is going to impact the hospitality and entertainment sectors particularly hard. These sectors rely heavily on the public having money in their pocket that they can spend on the non-essentials and in the current situation many people are struggling to even pay for the essentials, so it stands to reason that these sectors will suffer for a while yet.

Having said that, once the industrial disputes have been settled, nurses and public transport workers should hopefully have been given a decent pay rise that will allow them to begin to help the economy to bounce back. Across the UK, the number of nurses, healthcare, postal and rail workers who are involved in disputes makes up a substantial percentage of the population and if these are settled they should go a long way to putting money back into people’s pockets. It won’t solve the crisis entirely and people will still be struggling but it will at least be a step in the right direction. 

Consumer Services Apprenticeships

If you are looking at an apprenticeship standard in consumer services, you will be stepping into an industry that has large skills gaps, but this is exactly where the opportunities lie. If you do well in your apprenticeship then you will be in a good position to take advantage of any opportunities for career progression. Is an apprenticeship in consumer services a good career path? We think so. There are several types of apprenticeship to choose from, and these have different entry requirements and academic outcomes. We look at a few of the consumer services apprenticeships on offer to you below: 

Advanced Beauty Therapist Apprenticeship

This apprenticeship is a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Beauty Therapy and lasts 18 months in total, not including the time that it takes for the End Point Assessment to be completed. 

This apprenticeship will teach the core skills needed to be successful in the beauty therapy industry and a wide variety of advanced techniques including massage therapies and facial and body treatments. 

These skills will develop throughout your apprenticeship and a strong work ethic and ability to work with little supervision is essential. You will be expected to deal with the public in a friendly and professional manner at all times.  

Hospitality Team Member Apprenticeship

The Hospitality Team Member apprenticeship is a Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship and will typically last for 12 months. Again, this is exclusive of the time taken for the End Point Assessment. 

This apprenticeship can cover a wide variety of job roles including barista, waiting, bartending or concierge service. The job roles may differ but the core skills remain the same and these are the ability to work well with and interact positively with members of the public, ensuring that they are enjoying themselves.  

You will develop specialist knowledge and skills, depending on which job role you have chosen for your apprenticeship and these will develop as your apprenticeship goes on.  

Leisure Duty Manager

This apprenticeship is a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship and should last 18 months, not including the time that it takes to arrange the End Point Assessment. 

You will learn to manage a busy leisure centre and there can vary in type including swimming pools, gyms, sports halls, climbing centres and children’s soft play areas. These are just a few examples of the type of facility you may be working at during your apprenticeship. You will need to hone your organisational skills and be prepared to deal with members of the public. You must have a keen eye for health and safety and ensure the cleanliness of your establishment complies with all of the regulations governing it. 

This is a responsible position and one that will stand you in good stead in managing a range of different teams and buildings throughout your career. 

Find an Apprenticeship Today

If you have been inspired to find a suitable apprenticeship today, read our reasons to start an apprenticeship, find out who can start an apprenticeship, and use our dedicated apprenticeship jobs board to find opportunities in your area today. 

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Last Updated: Friday December 23 2022
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