An apprenticeship is a real job with professional training. Apprentices receive on-the-job training and work towards nationally recognised qualifications. For employers, apprenticeships are a pathway to building a skilled workforce. For career-conscious young people, they are an opportunity to earn while they learn, and start a career.
More and more young people are choosing to do apprenticeships after they finish school or college. In fact, there were over 1.65 million applications submitted to employers in 2016 across the UK, in a crazy range of industries and job roles, and this number continues to rise.
‘Why is everyone talking about apprenticeships,’ you might be thinking, ‘why the excitement?
This is your essential guide to apprenticeships; how they work, the different levels and the type of apprenticeship you can do, as well as advice on how to find the best schemes. Read on to find out why so many of your friends are taking the apprenticeship path.
An apprentice divides their time between work and study. They will spend the majority of their apprenticeship in the workplace, developing the technical and practical skills that are required for a particular job role. This work based learning is where an apprenticeship differs from going to sixth form or university.
When an apprentice is not at work, they will be studying at a college or training centre. If the scheme is organised by a small or medium sized company, they are likely to send the apprentice to a local college. Larger companies will typically use an internal training provider, and keep the training in-house. At college, apprentices work towards various qualifications, depending on the level of the scheme, and the industry it relates to.
The combination of on-the-job training with academic study ensures the candidate has the practical experience, the skills and the qualifications they need to begin a successful career
The division of work and study will depend on the company that organises the scheme. In some cases, the apprentice will spend four days in a week at work, with one day off to study and attend college. Other schemes are organised in a way that the apprentice will work on a full-time basis for consecutive weeks, and have extended breaks, or ‘block releases’ to attend college.
Apprentices are paid a salary for both work and study periods. It is magical.