In contrast, an apprentice can be educated up to Master’s level in lots of different occupational areas for free. It’s easy to see why so many people are opting for an apprenticeship.
Another huge benefit is that you get paid while you’re learning. The apprenticeship wage will be £3.70 an hour from April 2018, but lots of employers, including The Auckland Project, pay minimum wage for the age of the apprentice.
When you’re an apprentice, you also get the opportunity to apply whatever you’re learning in a real work environment. This means you’re applying the theory you have learned in a practical way so you gain an in-depth understanding of what you’re doing and have the chance to learn from more experienced colleagues.
In my experience, apprentices become valued members of the team whose opinions can offer a different point of view and a different way of looking at tasks, situations or problems.
When supported, apprentices develop good employability skills and this is really important in the world of work. Often college students and graduates haven’t had the opportunity to develop these skills, which means apprentices are ahead of the game when applying for other jobs.
How can you get the most out of your apprenticeship?
Always spend time researching your apprenticeship and qualifications and the careers they can lead to. Ask yourself: is it going to be right for you?
Once you’ve done your research and you find an apprenticeship that will help you reach your career goal, be fully committed and passionate and enjoy developing new skills with your employer. Listen, ask questions, take instruction and advice from people who have lots of experience; be honest, if you don’t understand, there’s nothing wrong in asking for further explanation, but most importantly have the right attitude. If you are positive anything can be achieved and employers will think you are great.
Thinking about starting an apprenticeship? Here’s our top tip
After you’ve done your research and you know which apprenticeship you want to do, register with Find an Apprenticeship, which is a portal all colleges and training providers use to advertise apprenticeship vacancies. There are an average of 23,000 vacancies advertised each month; once you register and set your criteria, you will receive email alerts telling you when vacancies become available. You can also register with Bishop Auckland College, who have a team of people to support you in finding your apprenticeship and help you with your CV, careers advice and interview preparation.
About the author:
Camilla Race is Head of Employability at The Auckland Project. As part of her role, she works hard to help apprentices make the most of their opportunities and get the best start to their career.
National Apprenticeship Week runs from 5 – 9 March 2018.
Five catering apprenticeships have been funded by The Weston Bursaries, part of The Garfield Weston Foundation.