Apprenticeships.... Your questions answered
Written by Matt Allman Posted in Careers, Apprenticeships
I am often discussing the benefits of apprenticeships with young people I work with and clearing up the things heard about them that aren’t true, so I hope this information helps. Most recent figures show there are 22,000 apprentices under 19 years of age in the UK. That’s a lot of apprentices. Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey, Sir Alex Ferguson and Elvis Presley started out as apprentices!
Where can I apply for them?
Apprenticeships should be listed on www.apprenticeships.org.uk, here you can register and apply. However other companies local to you will also be able to help you get an apprenticeship and may not list their vacancies on the website. This depends on where you live so try an internet search.
What can I do an apprenticeship in?
There are currently 250 types of apprenticeships covering 1,400 job roles. As long as the training can be provided, the apprenticeship/qualification exists and you have an employer willing to take on an apprentice.....Plumbing, Football Coaching, Boat Building, Youth Work, Air Force, the list goes on.
Are my GCSEs good enough?
Don’t worry, the apprenticeships have different levels (Intermediate, Advanced, Higher), some will require higher GCSE grades and some won’t but you will see this when you apply. Apprenticeships also help you with functional skills which can help you to develop and improve. So don’t worry, employers are not just focused on grades, there are a variety of things that they look for!
I am working for my mate and he wants to take me on as an apprentice but doesn’t know how!
He will need to register/apply at www.apprenticeships.org.uk, depending on the size of the business he may also be entitled to money for taking you on!
Is the qualification worth anything?
Yes, doing an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship you will work towards a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) at either level 2 or level 3, a technical certificate such as a BTEC National Diploma or a City & Guilds Progression Award and Functional Skills qualifications.
I will be at college every day, right?
No you won’t, there are two parts to an apprenticeship, your employer and your training provider. Your training provider could be a college but could also be another company so you would go to their office but often they will come and meet you at work to review you and help you; this is normally every few weeks, depending on the apprenticeship you are doing this may be less often or more frequent.
If you are an apprentice at a college or school then yes you will be there every day as they will be your employer!
What if I need time off?
Alongside your rest days, like a full time employee, you are entitled to Holiday/Annual Leave of 20 days a year, but some employers may offer more.
They pay really badly, don’t they?
The pay varies but remember you are being trained too! The average apprentice wage is around £80-£150 a week.
Does it actually lead to a job then?
It leads to you being qualified in that profession, at the end of an apprenticeship after your employer has invested time, money and energy training you and you are familiar with the company and your role. They may keep you on but if not you will be qualified; you will also have practical experience in the workplace under your belt which employers really want.