As a parent, you want your child to get the best possible start as they take the first steps towards their chosen career. There are now so many different options available after school it can be difficult to decide which is the right one to enable them to get to where they want to be.

An Apprenticeship is one of the pathways available, and below we have outlined the details and the benefits of this option as a route into a successful career.

Firstly, what is an Apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is a genuine job, with training. This means that student can earn while they learn and gain a nationally recognised qualification at the same time.

When can you start an Apprenticeship?

Students can start an Apprenticeship following the completion of their GCSE’s. A change in law means that young people must stay in education or training until they are 18 and an Apprenticeship, along with staying at school or going to college is one of the options available to school leavers. Those aged 18 + are able to start an Apprenticeship at any point, although this is dependent on whether there is an Apprenticeship vacancy available and suitable for them at the time.

Is an Apprenticeship for those who don’t do well at school?

Absolutely not; Apprenticeships are simply an alternative route into skilled employment, and one which some sectors prefer young people to do. And just like a course at college or sixth form, students will study English and Maths alongside their Apprenticeship, if they’ve not already achieved a grade 4.

Is it true that Apprentices will never earn very much?

Apprentices must receive at least the national minimum Apprentice wage (currently £3.90 per hour for 16-17 year olds and £6.15 for those aged 18-20 years old), though many employers choose to pay more. Apprentices aged over 25 and not in the first 12 months of their Apprenticeship are entitled to the national minimum wage, which is currently £8.21.

In the long-term, Apprenticeships boost earnings by between 11 and 16% for individuals completing an Advanced Apprenticeship; while those completing a higher (degree level) Apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime.

Can an Apprenticeship lead to University?

Yes! A growing number of Apprentices also go onto Higher Apprenticeships to gain degree level qualifications, but without the expense of going to university.

Are Apprenticeships just for practical industries?

In short no, Apprenticeships have grown massively over the years and now range across a range of industries – not just practical ones such as construction and engineering. There are now Apprenticeships available in management and accountancy, as well as digital marketing and social media, plus many more sectors.

Some of the top employers in the UK are now reaping the benefits of taking on Apprentices and developing them within their own businesses. Through the Apprenticeship Levy, businesses of every size are looking to take on Apprentices while funding is still available – making this the optimum time to start an Apprenticeship.

What are the benefits to Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are now available up to degree level and beyond. Over 70 national universities are currently offering a range of degree Apprenticeships with more to be confirmed throughout the year.

The main benefits of doing an Apprenticeships are:

  • Earning a salary and having employee benefits such as paid holidays
  • Excellent progression opportunities and ability to climb the ranks within the workplace
  • Increased future earning potential – Apprentices enjoy marked salary increases on finishing their training and those completing a higher level Apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime. *
  • Not having to pay any course or tuition fees.

How do you apply for an Apprenticeship?

Applying for an Apprenticeship has never been easier, search our Apprenticeship vacancies by visiting: www.nelson.ac.uk/apprenticeships/

If you don’t see a vacancy in the sector you are interested in, please call us. We can tell you if there are any coming up, or where best to find one.

Contact the Apprenticeship Team today on 01282 440 319 or email apprenticeships@nelson.ac.uk.