Apprenticeships & Why You Should Choose One

Apprenticeships are basically a scheme where people (normally of a young age) can earn money while they learn.  Whether someone begins an apprenticeship straight after they finish school or when they have already worked but are looking for a new opportunity in their career.  If you are looking to start an apprenticeship yourself, this guide will give you a better understanding of apprenticeships!


Why choose an apprenticeship?

Maybe you’re about to finish your GCSEs or A-Levels and you want to start an apprenticeship as a way of getting your foot in the door in the industry you want to work in; or maybe you are already in employment but you want to continue learning to progress your career.  There are lots of reasons for starting an apprenticeship and the schemes can really help in your career progression!

In an apprenticeship you get the opportunity to fuse together classroom learning and on the job training, giving you both the education you need and the skills that can only be gained by doing a specific job. 


How long will it take?

Apprenticeships have to be at least 12 months long, but each apprenticeship will take a different amount of time depending on the level, employer, and industry. 


Will I get paid?

The National Minimum Wage for apprentices in the UK this year (2017) is £3.50 per hour minimum if they are under the age of 19, or 19 and over but in the first year of their apprenticeship.  If an apprentice is age 19 or over and have completed the first year of their apprenticeship then they are entitled to the minimum wage for their age – so a 23 year old who has finished the first year of their apprenticeship would be entitled to a minimum of £7.05 per hour.


What qualification will I get?

An apprentice will gain a nationally recognised qualification which can be one of four levels.  These levels include Intermediate (Level 2), Advanced (Level 3), Higher (Levels 4-7), and Degree (Levels 6 and 7).  At Level 2 your qualification will be equivalent to five GCSEs at grades A-C, Level 3 will be equivalent to two A-Levels, Levels 4-7 are equivalent to a Foundation Degree, and Levels 6 and 7 equal a Degree level.


Am I eligible?

Apprenticeships are open to anyone who is over the age of 16 in England who isn’t already in full time education.  As long as you are prepared for further study and want to learn on the job, you are perfectly eligible for an apprenticeship!


What industry can I do it in?

There are so many different types of apprenticeships in so many different industries, from Media to Accountancy, Engineering to Retail, you should be able to find a course that suits your career aspirations.


Hopefully this guide has given you a better understanding of if an apprenticeship is right for you, and I’d definitely suggest that you take a further look into the apprenticeships available in your industry. 

For more useful tips and tricks, check out my blog:

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