Apprenticeships – what are they, why they’re valuable and how to get one

Intro 

This week is national apprenticeship week and here at Premier Jobs UK, we currently have 4 apprentices plus 2 team members who successfully completed their Level 3 Recruitment Consultant apprenticeships in 2020. Apprenticeships are a fantastic career option for many individuals due to the experience and qualifications you can gain whilst completing them.

Apprenticeships are also fairly equally distributed in gender; the number of women and men starting apprenticeships were almost at the same level, with slightly more starts by women (50.1%). Furthermore, the age of apprentices is also a common misconception with 46% of the apprenticeships started in 2018/19 were by people aged 25. The age group with the largest increase was by those aged between 35 and 44, with 21% more starts than in 2017/18. In this blog hopefully, we will be able to give a bit more detail and insight to apprenticeship schemes. All statistics in this blog were taken from the “Apprenticeship statistics for England” article from the House of Commons Library.

What are apprenticeships?

The national apprenticeship website defines an apprenticeship as “A real job where you learn, gain experience and get paid. You’re an employee with a contract of employment and holiday leave. By the end of an apprenticeship, you’ll have the right skills and knowledge needed for your chosen career. It can take between one and 6 years to complete an apprenticeship depending on which one you choose, what level it is and your previous experience. It’s funded from contributions made by the government and your employer.” They can vary in level from Intermediate (Level 2) all the way up to Degree (Level 6 & 7) and are very diverse in the industries you can obtain them in.


Why apprenticeships are valuable?

If you are on an apprenticeship programme you can gain qualifications that are relevant to your chosen industry. For some people, the prospect of going to University with significant tuition fees is off putting. Therefore, the attraction of apprenticeships whereby you pay no fees for your qualifications is attractive. 

More and more universities across the country are adopting degree programmes for higher-level students, evidenced by the increase of 11,500 level 6 and 7 apprenticeship starts from 2017/18 to 2018/19. This hopefully is breaking the misconception that apprenticeship schemes are simply for people learning a manual trade. In fact, in 2018/19 83% of all starts were in four subject areas:

  • Business, Administration and Law;
  • Health, Public Services and Care;
  • Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies;
  • Retail & Commercial Enterprise. 

How to get an apprenticeship?

  1. Research what you want to do for work – Firstly it is important to decide what you want to do in your career and not just taking the best short term offer or path – remember you may be doing this for years to come!
  2. See what support you can get if you are at school or college – Many schools may have a career advisor. They are always good to have a chat with in case they have any vacancies or good contacts that could potentially suit your career desires and can help you discuss potential career paths and possibilities.
  3. Put a CV together – You may already have some solid experience that may be relevant for your chosen career path so it is important to get this down on your CV for your potential employer to see.
  4. Check out your local vacancies – The two main places we would recommend is Amazing Apprenticeships and the Government apprenticeships website.
  5. Get applying! – The most important step, get applying to all the vacancies that appeal to you!

Key takeaways

To conclude, an apprenticeship could be a fantastic way to start your career and get ahead of your competition some key things to remember.

  1. You can get apprenticeships in many different industries
  2. You as the apprentice don’t pay any fees
  3. You learn, earn and get qualified at the same time