The ink has dried on your last exam paper, and now it’s decision time. Do you carry on with education – or enter the world of work?
Many young people feel that they don’t need three more years in formal education – and the potential debt that comes with it – to be successful in their chosen career path, especially those that are more vocational in nature.
The great thing about a modern apprenticeship is that is the best of both worlds.
The South West is spearheading the trend for apprenticeship schemes, with hundreds of companies across a multitude of sectors offering teenagers this golden opportunity to gain diplomas, B-Techs, higher education qualifications, and much more.
Apprenticeships are often give a bad name, but they are a valid career option for people of all ages and in all employment sectors. here we clear up some of the most common myths about modern apprenticeships.
1: People with good grades don’t sign up for an apprenticeship – It depends what you want to do. If you’re ambitious and keen to gain experience in a paid position, an apprenticeship is a good way to develop your career.
2: Apprenticeships are badly paid – The current minimum wage rate for an apprentice is £3.50 per hour This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year.
You must be paid at least the minimum wage rate for your age if you’re an apprentice aged 19 or over and have completed your first year.
But many apprenticeship schemes offer more than this: research has suggested that apprentices take home £200 net pay per week on average.
3: Apprenticeships are just for the traditional trades – Nowadays apprenticeship opportunities cover the entire range of vocational training, including sales, business administration, management, retail, customer services, and healthcare.
4: I won’t get a good qualification with an apprenticeship – Many employers look for specific trade-related qualifications. For example, accountancy firms need employers to be AAT/ACCA accredited. An apprenticeship is a good way to gain the qualifications you need.
5: Apprenticeships won’t help me if I want to go to university – Apprenticeship qualifications attract UCAS points just like GCSEs and A-levels. The benefit of an apprenticeship is that you can progress onto higher apprenticeships, which include foundation degrees or even higher, all while earning a wage. With many apprenticeships, the skills you gain will help you work across a range of industries. After completing your apprenticeship you’re free to move onto a different job.
6: Only young people can do an apprenticeship – If you’re over the age of 16 you can apply for an apprenticeship, if you’re older than 16 there’s no age limit. You can also do an apprenticeship if you’re a graduate.
7: You can’t get an apprenticeship without some work experience – Employers know that applicants may not have work experience and recognise that an apprenticeship is a chance for people to gain employability skills.