Why apprenticeships have more to offer than you think

Written by The EAA Team
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As you’re doing your A levels, your parents, teachers and school all seem to expect you to go to university. But what if that’s not the best thing for you?

There are plenty of alternatives to universities, and with the job market becoming increasingly flooded with degrees, their use is reducing. It’s common to hear of a friend or family member who has spent 3 or more years getting their degree, just to end up unemployed.

Often, people go to university because they think it’s what they’re supposed to do, or they can’t think of an alternative.

This notion is based upon significant misconceptions around the role of technical education, in particular apprenticeships. Teachers are often forced to ignore apprenticeships as a viable alternative, as when your parents were younger apprenticeships were usually only good for providing Level 2 qualifications, equivalent to GCSEs.

However, apprenticeships have changed dramatically, particularly in the past few years. At this point, apprenticeships are seen as the preferred route for people entering a career path. As such, the government is pouring more and more funding into apprenticeships and training.

This means that it is not only young people who are moving towards apprenticeships, there are also people in their 40s and 50s changing careers with the help of an apprenticeship. Even the recently graduated are realising they wish they had gone done an apprenticeship route in the first place.

Here are some of the benefits of becoming an apprentice:

Work Experience

If you go to university, you are learning an obscure course which, no matter how valuable in reality, is difficult to portray as useful to an employer. When doing an apprenticeship, you are learning the skills you need for the job.

This is why employers are turning to apprentices, even after they have finished their training. Not only are you gaining valuable experience of how to navigate a workplace, but you are getting the most up to date skills from the training provider. With the economy changing faster than ever, being able to tell an employer you can fill their ever-growing skill gap is going to make you stand out from the crowd.

Qualifications

Apprenticeships offer all sorts of qualifications. It’s becoming increasingly common to see degree level apprenticeships, including master’s qualifications.

Over are the days of apprenticeships only being for bricklaying or baking, you can now get all the qualifications a university student can. On top of that, you gain invaluable work experience, an asset that is arguably even more useful than a certificate.

Get Paid

Comprehend all those tens of thousands of pounds hanging over your head for decades to come all because you decided to go to university. With an apprenticeship, not only do you get paid to do it, and receive the same qualifications as a university student, but you come out the other side with none of the debt associated!

Although the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices is set at just £4.15 for the UK, this is only for the first year, and it is rare for an employer to offer a wage that low.

For more information, you should read about all the reasons to start an apprenticeship.

If this sounded interesting, you should find out more by learning about the different types of apprenticeships.

Last Updated: Thursday September 10 2020

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