Labour Market Information and My Apprenticeship

Written by Calvin Bowers

There is a wealth of information about the health of the labour market in the UK that is released monthly by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This information includes everything from the number of people who are employed and unemployed to a breakdown of the number of job vacancies by industry. When thinking about which area of work to go into and which apprenticeship to choose out of all of the possible permutations, this information can prove to be an invaluable indicator of where your best chance of success in life lies. 

Labour Market – Follow the Money?

Labour market information provides headline figures for the average weekly wages across the UK, so you have an idea of which areas are doing better, relative to each other and where you might want to move to in order to better further your career down the line. 

There are many different career paths and this is obviously only a consideration if you are able to act on such an idea and successfully move to another part of the UK. This isn’t so much of a consideration if you already have family ties in a particular area and may miss the support network that this gives you. 

At a time of being able to work remotely from pretty much anywhere in the world if you have the requisite skills to use a laptop and win a remote office job, it can also pay to look at where wages are highest and apply for remote apprenticeship jobs with companies based in those areas of the UK. There aren’t going to be the same ties that force us to live within a short commute of the office, going forward even though some businesses and sectors have been keener to return to the office than others.

Other Information Sources

As well as perusing the official labour market statistics, as presented by the ONS, it is also worth taking the time to investigate which business sectors are experiencing growth at the moment as the world changes and settles into a post-pandemic pattern once more. There is no doubt that Covid altered how many people view work and their expectations surrounding it. Many people have had a real rethink about how they are prepared to engage with the world of work and what they are prepared to tolerate from potential employers. 

It is interesting to see people beginning to realise their true worth in the workplace and ask for a pay rise if they feel that they are due one or pluck up the courage to ask that reasonable adjustments are made in order to accommodate their individual needs. This is something that is reflected in a global event that has been dubbed the “great resignation”. 

The Great Resignation and the Labour Market Crisis

This phrase refers to the massive changes in the workforce that are being experienced globally with many people putting their lives into focus and looking at how they are treated by employers in much more detail since the pandemic. 

There was something about lockdowns that gave people more time to think about their place in society and what they wanted from life and this has largely driven the mass workforce changes that we are seeing. Bloomberg quotes a survey saying 20% of UK workers will quit their current jobs over the course of the next year.

One in five workers leaving their current employment in the course of a single year is hugely disruptive to the economy and the shocks from it may still be felt years down the line. It will be possible to track the progress of this in ONS reports in years to come and find out whether the fallout turns out to be as bad as has been predicted.

Understaffing and Apprenticeship Opportunities

As always, where there is conflict, there is also an opportunity and many employers in various sectors are massively understaffed at the moment. Now is a good time to look at apprenticeships in some of the areas that are understaffed. 

It may mean that the work component of the apprenticeship will be harder as there will be fewer hands on deck and you may be expected to do more but your contribution is also likely to be appreciated more and you are also more likely to find full-time employment with the company after your apprenticeship has been successfully completed. Indeed, because of the dearth of employees in some sectors, you may find that career progression and advancement are easier to come by once you are employed after your apprenticeship ends. 

Many companies are looking toward apprentices to help to fill the shortfall in staff. The UK has been hit particularly hard in some sectors because of the number of European citizens who have left since Brexit. This combined with the effects of the pandemic and the great resignation has created the perfect storm in many sectors of the economy and the resultant vacancies are struggling to be filled.  

Applying for an Apprenticeship

It is possible by reading the ONS statistics on the labour market to give yourself an advantage when it comes to selecting an apprenticeship. You should also be clear on the reasons why you are choosing an apprenticeship and the benefits that it will bring to you. These can include learning transferable skills which will help with all of your future employment and the experience that working within your chosen field will bring. 

When you are settled on the apprenticeship level and standard that you wish to attain, you can use our job board in order to find what you are looking for. We have many apprenticeship vacancies on there with brilliant companies in a great variety of different fields. Even if you are not quite ready to make that jump yet, taking a look can give you some much-needed inspiration and stimulate your thinking on the matter. 

Setting the course for the next part of your life is never an easy thing to do, but with the information from the ONS, you are giving yourself a small head start toward success.

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Last Updated: Thursday October 13 2022
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