APPRENTICESHIPS ALLOW individuals to ‘get in and go far’ at some of Britain’s biggest and brightest companies, gaining the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, in some cases up to degree level, while working and earning.
Some of the country’s top employers are offering the best possible start to enable young people to get the skills they need for a great job, not only with apprenticeships but with work experience and traineeships too.
There is no better time than now for more young people to consider apprenticeships as a route into a successful and rewarding career. The government’s commitment is for 3 million more apprenticeship starts by 2020. While many young people are already reaping the benefits – more need to get involved.
The soonest way to get involved and find out more about apprenticeships is during National Apprenticeship Week – which runs from March 14 - 18 and is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service.
The week is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy and its theme of ‘an apprenticeship can take you anywhere’ realises the ambition of apprentice growth and success.
Thousands of employers will be pledging to take on apprentices during the week, making it the ideal time for young people to consider an apprenticeship.
Hundreds of events will be taking place across the country during National Apprenticeship Week to spread the word and get more young people to get on board and see for themselves what an apprenticeship can do for them.
Sue Husband, director of the National Apprenticeship Service said: “Both employers and their apprentices have a great opportunity to step into the spotlight during National Apprenticeship Week, to help us show how an apprenticeship really can take you anywhere.
“National Apprenticeship Week celebrates how apprenticeships can help individuals and businesses achieve their ambitions of ‘rising to the top”.
Apprenticeships are available in more than 1,500 job roles from nuclear to fashion, law, banking and defence.
Apprenticeship participation now stands at a record level. 871,800 apprentices participated in an apprenticeship during the 2014/15 academic year. Of these, 53,109 apprentices were from BAME backgrounds and increaseD from 2012/13, when there were 49,770.
For those who have their sight set on professional qualifications or a degree, an apprenticeship can fund and support their learning.
You can study for a degree while working in legal services, banking and engineering as well as many other job roles.
More of these specialised and highly skilled apprenticeships are being offered each year, giving people the chance to continue their professional development and fully realise their potential.
For those not quite ready for an apprenticeship, a traineeship might be the best option. They provide work experience and the opportunity to improve English and maths.
Traineeships last for up to six months and are tailored to each individual, with support from a trusted training provider. Traineeships have been developed by employers, making them a great stepping stone to an apprenticeship or other job.
The National Careers Service is also on hand to help young people make the right choice for them. Expert careers advisers are available over the phone or on line to talk through young people’s options with them.
Through online tools, web chats and telephone advice, the service can help young people to improve their job prospects and take control of their career.
The National Careers Service website has information on more than 130 industry areas and nearly 800 job profiles to inspire young people about the options available and help them to make the right choices about their future.
There really has never been a better time to become an apprentice.
Two young people explain how their apprenticeship set them on the path to success…
Joshua Uwadiae from London won the City & Guilds Apprenticeship Champion of the Year Award at the London region National Apprenticeship Awards. He was also put through to the national finals, where he was highly commended for his contribution to apprenticeships.
Joshua started his apprenticeship in 2012 and at the time of his application to the awards, Joshua worked for eCourier where he directed the firm’s IT strategy.
Joshua said: “Having done an apprenticeship only three years ago I can still remember my first day and how quickly I went from being the apprentice in the office to a well regarded member of the team.
“I believe apprenticeships are limitless. An apprenticeship is truly what you make it, as whether you land a job, earn a high salary, achieve extra qualifications or network deeply within the organisation - it’s all down to your graft. Successful apprentices and entrepreneurs are no different, they both graft.”
Nana Bonsu from London undertook an apprenticeship in Leathergoods Production and had placements during her apprenticeship with two companies; haute couture house Ralph & Russo and Leather design company Anthony Vrahimis Ltd.
During her apprenticeships, Nana learned how to grade patterns, take measurements and make samples, whilst improving her pattern cutting and learning how to construct bags and garments.
Nana started her intermediate apprenticeship in 2012 and completed in 2014.
Nana said: “My apprenticeship gave me something higher education couldn’t and that was hands on experience whilst increased learning at the workplace.
“I would strongly encourage people to consider an apprenticeship in their field of interest first and then consider higher education afterwards if required; it’s a great foundation.”
Nana has now set up her own company - August Devine - giving clients a bespoke garment designed and made especially for them.
To find out more about apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities, search on GOV.UK For careers advice, search online for the National Careers Service or call 0800 100 900