It’s one of life’s biggest conundrums after leaving school, we get it. We’ve all been there. The decision you make regarding your next step changes your future, so it’s important to gather all the facts so you can make an informed choice.
In August 2022, the Government (Gov.uk) reported that a staggering 425,830 students enrolled at UK Universities, which is a significant number. However, the appetite for apprenticeships seems to be increasing too, with 349,190 people signing up for apprenticeship programs in the same period – an 8.6% increase from the year before!
There is still a profound ignorance surrounding Apprenticeships as for many, it’s still perceived a non-traditional route for education. So let’s talk about Apprenticeships by starting at the beginning...
What is an Apprenticeship?
To keep it simple, an apprenticeship is paid employment combined with off-the-job training through an apprenticeship provider – a college, university, or training centre. To find out about opportunities near you, simply visit the website of your nearest college, university or training centre.
One of the biggest benefits to being an Apprentice besides the hands-on experience and pay is that you receive the same entitlement as your fellow employees, such as holiday leave and sick pay, however, all companies will have their own individual benefit scheme.
There is a minimum wage set by the Government that must be adhered to by Employers depending on the age of an Apprentice, however, some Employers will offer a wage higher than this guideline.
Are there different types of Apprenticeships?
Of course, the type of Apprenticeship available to you depends solely on the career you are pursuing and the qualifications you already have under your belt. Some industries are more developed than others in terms of opportunities and progression. If you’re looking for inspiration, take a look at the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers in 2022.
Would you have guessed that the Armed Forces ranked first and second place?
We’ve broken down the different levels of Apprenticeships below for you.
Level 2 (12-18 months) - equivalent to five GCSEs.
Level 3 (12-18 months) – equivalent to two A-Levels.
Level 4 (1– 5 years)–equivalent to a first-year undergraduate degree or Higher National Certificate (HNC).
Level 5 (1-5 years)– equivalent to a foundation degree or Higher National Diploma (HND).
Level 6/7 (3-6 years)–equivalent to a full undergraduate or master’s degree.
By all means, you must be realistic when debating becoming an Apprentice. For example, if you are leaving school, you will not have the qualifications to study a Level 4 or 5 apprenticeship. Similarly, if you are leaving college, your options are also limited. However, some apprenticeship providers will take into account experience and they will be able to help determine what level you're at. Perhaps an apprenticeship within the role of HR may interest you, if you want to delve further into the role and responsibilities, we have another blog based upon this.
What are the benefits of an Apprenticeship?
Now you’re clued up on the ins and outs, let’s go through the benefits…
You get paid while you’re learning.
You gain industry-recognised qualifications.
You get real-life experience working for a Company.
You benefit from a good support system.
You build relationships in the workplace.
You improve your employability and develop your skills.
You get to enjoy paid annual leave.
You get to enjoy student discount.
Apprenticeships in Recruitment
We currently have two apprentices at Service Care, Skye in our HR Department, and Abi in our Marketing department. In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week 2023, both Skye and Abi have filmed a day in the life to give a taste to anyone considering taking that route.
Abi, currently studying Content Creation Level 3 with The Juice Academy, attends a bi-weekly training day in Manchester, where she gets to train with other students in her cohort and meets professionals from the industry.
Visit The Juice Academy with her to see what she gets up to.
Skye, studying Level 3 HR Support with Runshaw College spends four days in the office and has one study day, and one day at home which she uses to catch up on off-the-job training and complete assigned work. Have a look at what a typical day looks like for an HR apprentice in the world of recruitment.
We are always on the hunt for new talent. If you fancy joining our Apprenticeship Academy, register your interest by sending your CV to HR@servicecare.org.uk.