For many school and university leavers, an apprenticeship offers the perfect cocktail of education and experience. In fact, more and more students are opting to train on the job rather than pursue higher education to search of better job prospects, but is an apprenticeship the stepping stone to your dream career?
We take a closer look at the apprenticeship providing an essential guide to its pros and cons, applying for an apprenticeship that is right for you and what the future holds for former apprentices.
The pros and cons of an apprenticeship
The debate surrounding apprenticeship versus degree is likely to rage on for years to come, but due to the economic downturn and the rise in youth unemployment, many students are opting for an apprenticeship to achieve experience, education and a regular wage.
The benefits of an apprenticeship include:
- Earning while you learn – whilst university students may struggle to hold down a part-time job and study, an apprenticeship allows you to get the best of both worlds
- Gain experience – as well as combining on-the-job and classroom learning, apprentices work up to 30 hours a week, gaining the essential experience they need to help their CV stand out from the rest
- Study without the burden of debt – Unlike university education, an apprenticeship offers a debt-free educational route. As companies receive grants to run an apprenticeship program, training is free
- A practical approach to learning – many students favour more practical modes of study, and whilst there will be some classroom learning, the opportunity to put these skills into practice complements this particular learning style
- Real job prospects – the education and experience gained via an apprenticeship opens the doors to a host of job opportunities.
Whilst the benefits of completing an apprenticeship are for all to see, many feel missing out on the university experience is the biggest compromise. In addition to this, competition to gain a place on your chosen apprenticeship program will be very high. The world of work can also be particularly daunting to school and university leavers and taking on an apprenticeship will mean you have to grow up fast to succeed.
Applying for an apprenticeship
Submitting an apprenticeship application has never been easier, there are various government backed organisations that help school and university leavers gain access to apprenticeship vacancies across the country. Alternatively, you can approach companies and apply to their apprenticeship program direct.
Competition for apprenticeship places is high so ensuring your application goes above and beyond will help you stay head and shoulders above your fellow applicants. Follow these simple dos and don’ts when completing your application…
- Complete your application using as much detail as possible but remember to opt for quality, not quantity
- As well as listing academic achievements give your prospective employer an insight into your personality on paper
- Never create one generic application, copying and pasting may be easy but each application must be crafted to each individual vacancy
- Check and double check your spelling and grammar to ensure you demonstrate great written communication and attention to detail
- Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd, apprenticeship vacancies attract hundreds of applications so leave no stone unturned in your quest to be the best!
Life after an apprenticeship
According to a recent survey, around 85% of former apprentices find employment, a third of which receive a promotion within the first year! Whilst life after university has changed significantly in recent years, with a degree being no guarantee to a job, an apprenticeship provides a solid background for a long-term career.
****For this great post, Campus to Career thanks Brittany Thorley!!****
About the author: Brittany Thorley is from Getting-In, an educational resource that provides the guidance students of all ages need to thrive during their time at high school, college and beyond in their career.