Employers are recognising that investing in young people helps them to win the war on talent and this growing momentum is reflected in the Government’s drive to deliver three million apprenticeships by 2020.

All indicators point towards apprenticeships taking centre stage but there’s still a significant job to be done to ensure that young people, parents and schools have the guidance they need to consider apprenticeships as a valuable route into work, and a meaningful alternative to university.

"The Government is working to deliver three million apprenticeships by 2020."

With endless subject options available and a range of routes into work– either through apprenticeships, internships, traineeships and degrees - it’s vital that you take time to weigh up all of these options and think about how they could help you to carve a successful career path. Today, there are apprenticeships available to cover a huge range of occupations and sectors, including creative and digital media, accounting, agriculture, engineering, human resources and cyber security.

 

Apprenticeships, internships, traineeships and degrees - it’s vital that you take time to weigh up all of these options.


 

Apprenticeships are an attractive option for young people starting out in the world of work as they provide the opportunity to earn as you learn, and can help to avoid some of the financial pressures associated with a university qualification. You’ll serve a real purpose in an organisation and be contributing to its success. You will get to work alongside experienced staff, gain job-specific skills and get a real understanding of what a particular role and industry can offer. As with other full time employees, you’ll earn a wage and get holiday pay and importantly, you’ll study towards a related qualification.

"It’s vital that you weigh up all of the options; think about how they could help you to carve a successful career."

It’s important to think about your career ambitions and how an apprenticeship could support this, as that will affect the type of apprenticeship you choose in terms of subject, level and how long it will take to complete. An apprenticeship can take anywhere from a year to four years to complete depending on the level. Higher-level apprenticeships, for instance, typically take up to four years, and can lead to a degree-level qualification.

As well as learning role-specific skills on the job, apprenticeships are a great way of putting into practice some of the softer skills that employers are looking for in their people; like communication, collaboration and team work. You’ll gain these from working alongside experienced colleagues but also from interacting with people that are outside of the business, such as customers or suppliers. These skills will help you to develop within your apprenticeship scheme but they’ll also be transferrable to your next role, even if you choose a different career path altogether.

Apprenticeships are a solid choice for the start of a career. Nearly 8 in 10 apprentices stay with the same employer at the end of their programme and more than 90% of apprentices stay in employment after their scheme ends.

To achieve a more balanced labour market, to help young people get into and get on at work and, ultimately, get employers the skills they need, we all need to work together to champion apprenticeships.