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.
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.
The international IT company Microsoft recently announced that it plans to create 30,000 UK apprenticeships by 2020. To date, Microsoft has worked with 25,000 UK partners to deliver 11,000 digital apprenticeships which is significantly higher than their target of 4,000 which was set in 2012. Microsoft has further added that it aims to include a higher proportions of women and minority groups.
In addition to this, the company plans to train 50,000 people in the UK to cloud technology experts through its skills initiative. More information on this can be found here.
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.