Are you 16 to 24 years old? Are you looking for the ideal opportunity to get paid to learn and gain vital work experience? Then you need to seriously consider doing an apprenticeship.
Over the last few years apprenticeships have become very popular for young people and companies up and down the country. Employers have been looking for apprentices in record numbers; and this is because of what apprentices offer them. If you have left school and already know what job you want, or even if you don't, an apprenticeship is the ideal path to go down. So, what are the requirements? Basically, if you are aged 16-24yrs old and you haven't been to university an apprenticeship is for you. If you don't have a job, we will find you one and if you do have one. If you do have a job, we can make the training work around your job. Now let's have a look at the reasons why an apprenticeship is such a great opportunity for you:
At this age, work experience is possibly the most important thing to have to impress employers. Having work experience on your CV stands out from anything else (these words are coming from employers mouths not mine). It was even found in a recent study of employers in the UK that they find work experience to be more important than the particular degree someone has done; so don't worry about not going to University, experience is the key.
However, we aren't saying that any old experience is going to take your forward in your career, the right kind is vital. Yes, two weeks work experience in your school holidays looks great, but the long term experience of an apprenticeship is a world apart from this in an employer's eyes. As you are working full time with one training day you have experience in a real work place and you are adding a real qualification to your CV.
Another positive advantage of an apprenticeship is that you're earning and learning at the same time! This is always a big bonus and why it is ideal for young people.
The minimum pay you get for doing an apprenticeship is £2.65 an hour for first year apprentices or 16-18 year old apprentices, and some businesses opt to pay their apprentices more than this. Minimum wage goes up to £4.68 an hour when you're a 19-20 year old apprentice and then up again to £6.19 for 21 year olds and over. The money in apprenticeships can vary depending on the employer. However, you shouldn't look at the money as a priority when searching for an apprenticeship as the qualification and experience is the real gain. Also, many businesses actually take on their apprentices as a full time staff member after they complete the course, which puts them straight onto the national minimum wage or higher.
Qualifications- Apprentices must work a minimum of 30 hours a week (including the training day) on one of three different qualifications available, and the one you complete will be dependent on what kind of apprenticeship you are doing. For example, a Business admin NVQ will relate to a media or a customer service apprenticeship. The Qualification will always relate to the apprenticeship you are taking. There are also three levels of apprenticeship on offer:
The level of apprenticeship you do is based on your past work experience and your grades at school, but don't worry if you aren't placed on the highest level straight away. You can always complete the next level once you have completed the first, and working up from the bottom show's great drive and determination to succeed.
Whilst working as an apprentice you will meet new people who have a lot of experience in the job you are learning to. This is something which really adds value to your CV, and gives apprenticeships real strength compared to a standard qualification. It is also possible that your employer or colleagues will put you in contact with people who could give you a job in the future if you work hard and impress them. You won't be alone when doing your apprenticeship either, as many companies employ a number of apprentices at a time.
To break down how great an apprenticeship opportunity is here are some statistics from apprenticeships.com
So, why should you do an apprenticeship? As you can see from all the reasons above, the experience you gain is priceless, you will to earn a good wage while gaining a strong qualification that employers recognise, you also get to learn how to do your job from people with years of experience, and you are a lot more likely to stay in work once you start your apprenticeship.