Why an Apprenticeship could be for you

Many young people will have very different ideas of what they want to do after completing their A Levels. While some choose the world of work, others will have their heart set on University. However, another route – apprenticeships – are currently enjoying a boom in popularity among young people.

New data from research company ICM reveals that 54% of young people in England would choose to do an Apprenticeship if one were available, while the same study found that employers find apprentices 15% more employable than young people with other qualifications.

With more than 510,000 people starting an apprenticeship in 2013 alone, exactly what is the appeal? Importantly, apprenticeships offer school leavers the chance to ‘learn while they earn’; gaining practical hands-on experience, combined with academic qualifications. In today’s competitive job market, an apprenticeship can give a young person the experience and competitive edge they need to succeed.

Compared with a university degree, apprenticeships are also funded by the government, with them contributing 100% of the training costs if the apprentice is aged 16-18 or 50% if the apprentice is 19 or above. That’s a world apart from the average university yearly tuition fees of £9,000 each year!

Chris Hopkins owns the forward-thinking Yorkshire-based energy efficient home improvement company, Ploughcroft, and is launching a new apprenticeship scheme for 2014. Thought to be the first ‘eco roof’ apprenticeship scheme in the country, it capitalise on the growing consumer demand for energy saving and green living, and is offering two young people the chance for some valuable experience in a growing sector.

Chris told us: “For many young people, further education just isn’t for them. However, they still want a career, and to continue building their knowledge, and that’s exactly where an apprenticeships comes in, combining classroom-based learning with on-the-job experience. For a pioneering company like Ploughcroft, it’s also a fantastic opportunity for us to tap into young, enthusiastic and talented young people, bringing with them fresh ideas.”

Apprenticeships are open to anyone living and eligible to work in England who is aged 16 or over and not in full-time education; and with over 1500 job roles on offer in a wide range of industries, from things like construction to finance, veterinary nursing to accountancy, there’s an endless number of paths you could take. If you are interested in finding out more about an apprenticeship or want explore some of the job roles that are available, you can visit the official apprenticeships website at www.apprenticeships.org.uk.

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Editor of Student Wire. I study PR and Communication at Leeds Metropolitan/Beckett, in love with mint hot choc, anything Disney and a good night out.

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