National Apprenticeship Week – Choosing an Apprenticeship

As National Apprenticeship Week turns the spotlight onto Apprenticeships, we’ve been exploring some of the choices that Apprenticeships offer.

The word ‘Apprentice’ or ‘Apprenticeship’ means different things to different people. Many will instantly conjure images of Sir Alan Sugar in the boardroom. Others see a young person working in a ‘traditional’ industry such as engineering, construction or hair and beauty.

But perhaps not enough are seeing it as a stepping stone into all of the careers that have Apprenticeship progression routes.

Young people, their parents and, in many cases, their teachers often have set ideas about what an Apprenticeship is and whether it’s “for them”. Often this is based on a perception that isn’t fully informed.

An Apprenticeship isn’t right for every young person but it’s certainly something that many more could consider as a route into their future career.

Apprenticeships may still struggle to achieve parity of esteem with university courses but much work has been done to dispel the belief that they are an easy option or exclusively for those young people who struggle academically.

With many young people concerned about the rising cost of studying at university, even high achievers are considering alternative career entry routes including Apprenticeships.

Francesca from Wigan, who achieved an A grade and two B grades at A level and opted for an Apprenticeship with a major supermarket retailer rather than a degree, is just one example of this.

“By the end of the three-year training programme, I’ll be an assistant store manager on a good salary, which I think will put me streets ahead of any recent graduate.”

The idea that Apprenticeships are only suitable for certain careers is also something Apprenticeship advocates have worked hard to dispel.

There are currently over 170 separate Apprenticeship frameworks covering many hundreds of different careers. There has also been a recent growth in Apprenticeship schemes which lead to jobs in ‘professional’ careers including accountancy, finance and law, with the new Higher Apprenticeship in Legal Services launching this month.

Apprenticeships are also available in areas such as Custodial Care, Process Manufacturing, Rail Services, Sports Development, Emergency Healthcare, Live Events and Promotion, Employment Related Services and many more.

So what support is available to help young people decide if an Apprenticeship is right for them?

Having access to impartial information, advice and guidance is crucial. Young people need to be able to find out more about Apprenticeships before they, or other people, dismiss them as not a suitable option.

CASCAiD programs including Kudos, Kudos Inspire and Careerscape include information on Apprenticeship routes for each relevant career, as well as other pathways into each occupation.

Careerscape also includes more detailed information on Apprenticeships and features videos showing young people who have chosen to do an Apprenticeship.

To find out more, please click here.

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