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Choosing your path after high school can be a daunting process for many individuals and with so many graduates facing unemployment, more and more school leavers are considering their options and following alternative routes to success.
Apprenticeships are one such route, and instead of entering a college or university course, this option provides you with the opportunity to learn while you earn and establish those all-important relationships with the people who matter throughout the industry much quicker. We explore what apprenticeships offer young people looking to pursue a career as soon as they leave school and answer the questions that will help you make the right decision about your future.
What are apprenticeships?
As we’ve briefly discussed apprenticeships are courses that allow you to earn money as you learn, giving you all the skills you need to become qualified as well as a paid role within the team. Apprenticeships are the ultimate partnership between company and young person, with many businesses preferring to train their own employees and nurture talent from within.
There are a number of small to medium enterprises and larger corporations that run apprenticeship programs. Despite each course being structured differently, they all work towards one aim – to produce a qualified and skilled workforce.
Types of apprenticeship programs
There are three types of apprenticeships available – Intermediate, Advanced and Higher. Each requires candidates to be qualified to a certain level to achieve a higher level of qualification. Higher apprenticeships are the equivalent to a university degree and provide the professional development more qualified individuals need to open doors within their industry.
Which industries provide apprenticeships?
Apprenticeships are available across a number of industries and programs are run by companies of all sizes. The construction sector is one particular area where apprenticeship programs are prevalent. Trades like plumbing, roofing, plastering and building require a lot of ‘on the job’ training and explore particularly skilled areas of expertise. To get the quality that they are looking for companies choose to run their own programs to ensure their standards are met.
Highly competitive industries such as the media sector also offer apprenticeship programs, these tend to be higher apprenticeships however and applicants are required to meet certain educational requirements before gaining a place. Media apprenticeships allow candidates to gain the experience they need to back up any qualifications they may have.
What are the benefits of becoming an apprentice?
There are numerous benefits that come with apprenticeships, regardless of which industry you have an interest in. The opportunity to earn while you learn is perhaps the biggest advantage. Many college and university students try to balance full-time education with part-time work to fund their studies but an apprenticeship allows you to get the best of both worlds without breaking your back!
Apprenticeships also offer a real job within your chosen sector, and candidates can choose to stay with the company long after their apprenticeship program has finished to utilise their newfound qualification. Apprentices tend to work a 30 hour week with the remaining hours spent in learning, whether that be classroom or workshop based. Best of all, all apprenticeships lead to a qualification which will help you proceed at the company that trained you or elsewhere following program completion.
Applying for your apprenticeship
Here are a selection of top tips for individuals looking to apply for an apprenticeship program…
– Be realistic: Apprenticeships are becoming an increasingly popular option in career progression so be realistic about how long applying for a program and gaining a place really takes. The screening process is particularly thorough so put plenty of time and effort into your application to beat off competition and put your best foot forward.
– Be unique: Never copy and paste from application to application, take a personalised approach to every form to ensure you demonstrate how suited you are to that specific role.
– Be detailed: Attention to detail is vital when applying for an apprenticeship, always show how you fulfill the criteria of what the company is looking for wholeheartedly and leave no room for errors like spelling and grammatical mistakes.
– Be yourself: Being yourself on paper as well as in an interview is the perfect way to ensure you stand out from the crowd, so increase your chances of success by showing off your personality.