What is it?
National Apprenticeship Week is a week dedicated to celebrating the benefits of apprenticeships, and how they can transform the businesses that hire them. Apprenticeships don’t only positively impact businesses, but also the individuals undertaking the placement. Workplace experience coupled with further education can help teach employees more about work than a theory based qualification.
This year, National Apprenticeship Week is being held on 14-18th March 2016, and is aiming to demonstrate how apprentices can rise to the top of businesses with the right support and guidance. The National Apprenticeship Service supports over 1,000 colleges and employers searching for apprenticeships, and provides over £4 billion in funding each year as part of their commitment to apprentices.
What are apprenticeships?
As opposed to traditional, theory bases qualifications, apprentices take on training in industry, shadowing others in a role to learn more about the business and profession. Apprentices can start from any stage in their career, and at any age – they aren’t reserved just for school leavers. It’s on-the-job training, which will provide a recognised qualification at the end of the apprenticeship, as well as quantifiable work place experience.
Whilst some individuals may assume that higher education is the only option available to gain qualifications, there are actually numerous opportunities to gain further education through apprenticeships, developing the key skills needed to perform a job, whilst also developing a number of soft skills in the process.
What’s in it for you?
Not sure what the benefits are for apprentices? There’s more than just a qualification at the end of your placement to look forward to. Here are some more things to look forward to during your apprenticeship:
- Earn as you learn. Not only will you develop key skills and learn more about a trade, but you’ll also earn during your apprenticeship. Some placements even lead onto full time positions for successful candidates.
- Hands on experience. Everyone learns differently, but gaining first hand experience can be invaluable when delving into a new industry. You’ll often get to shadow a more senior colleague during your first few weeks, encouraging you to learn from their role, and get stuck in when your support is needed.
- Really useful qualifications. Sometimes, the certifications you receive don’t translate into real world jobs. With an apprenticeship, you can be confident that the work you’re putting in equates to a valuable qualification you can take with you in the future.
- A step on the career ladde More often than not, jobs require previous experience as a prerequisite to entry. Working on an apprenticeship means you’re gaining invaluable experience and a qualification, helping you take the next step in your career once you’re qualified.
- Gaining useful life skills. Apprenticeships can be a steep learning curve, especially if it’s an industry you haven’t had much exposure to before. Working so close to skilled colleagues can help you develop key life skills, as well as developing independence, planning and time management – which will prove very useful in the future. Working whilst studying can be challenging, but with support from your employer and colleagues you can start to develop yourself and your skills.
- Starting a new career. Apprenticeships can be utilised to launch a new career, helping the individual gain experience ‘on the job’, whilst also earning. It can sometimes be scary starting a new job, especially in a new industry, but an apprenticeship can help you get a access to a new role, and get fully trained in the process.
Take your apprenticeship to the next level.
Searching for help with your apprenticeship application, or just need some tips on interviews or writing a CV? Check out our Job Seeker Resource Centre to find useful advice, as well as guidance on the types of interviews you may face in the future. Discover the Job Seeker Resource Centre.