Anyone can be an Apprentice as long as they are aged over 16, live in England and not in full time education. For many, Apprenticeships are the first step onto a career ladder which can then take them as far as they want to go in their chosen career.
First of all, disregard all of the stereotypes that you have previously heard about Apprenticeships. An Apprenticeship first and foremost is an excellent route into a career. Apprenticeships allow people to earn whilst they learn and train for a career, gaining structured qualifications whilst acquiring valuable work experience.
There’s a stereotype that Apprenticeships are only obtainable in manual trades like construction or hairdressing, but in reality you can now do an Apprenticeship in almost any job role. Over 1,200 to be exact. From social media, marketing to business administration and beauty therapy, you will find Apprentices virtually anywhere. From multi-national organisations to small local companies and everywhere in-between. Already, more than 130,000 employers offer Apprenticeships.
There are three types of Apprenticeships:
1. Intermediate Level Apprenticeship
Apprentices work towards nationally recognised vocational qualifications at Level 2 and, in some cases, a relevant knowledge based qualification such as a BTEC. They also improve their skills in Maths, English and ICT at the appropriate level. These provide the skills apprentices need for their chosen career and allow entry to an Advanced Level Apprenticeship.
2. Advanced Level Apprenticeship
Advanced apprentices work towards nationally recognised vocational qualifications at Level 3 and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge based certificate such as a BTEC. They also improve their skills in Maths, English and ICT at the appropriate level. To start this programme, apprentices should ideally have five GCSEs (grade C or above) or have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.
3. Higher Apprenticeship
Higher level apprentices work towards nationally recognised qualifications at Levels 4 or 5 and, in some cases, a knowledge based qualification such as a Foundation Degree.
As an Apprentice you will:
- Earn a wage from day one.
- Get paid holidays.
- Get your foot on the career ladder.
- Receive training and gain qualifications.
- Potentially progress to degree level or into full time employment.
People with an Advanced Level Apprenticeship earn on average over £100,000 more over the course of their career, than those without.
Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level of the Apprenticeship, the Apprentices’ ability and the industry sector.
An Apprenticeship is a set of separate qualifications, called a ‘framework’ and they will need to complete all parts to achieve their Apprenticeship.
Taking on an Apprentice has a huge range of benefits for your business. But don’t just take our word for it, as the facts speak for themselves.
- <80% of companies who invest in Apprentices have reported a significant increase in employee retention.
- 77% of employers believe Apprenticeships make them more competitive.
- 76% of those employers who employ Apprentices agree they make their workplace more productive.
- 81% of consumers favour using a company which takes on Apprentices.
- 92% of employers who employ Apprentices believe that Apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.
- 83% of employers who employ apprentices rely on their Apprenticeships programme to provide the skilled workers that they need for the future.
*National Apprenticeship Service data
In its new video, Apprenticeships – Our 2020 Vision, the National Apprenticeship Service outlines its plans to get more people to recognise the value of the vocational training route.
Its aims will help achieve the government’s plans to create three million apprenticeship starts in the next four years.
“Our vision for the future is to encourage individuals to get involved in this high-quality path to a successful career, by providing training in a professional or technical route, from work placements, traineeships and apprenticeships right up to degree level, with opportunities suitable for every young person and every employer,” the NAS says in the film.