​Why Choose Apprenticeships

We know there are many reasons to study an apprenticeship over a traditional academic or vocational pathway. On a surface level apprenticeships give you instant access to industry experience, a fast-track to a career and a wage to support you during your studies. We’ve put together six top reasons why you should do an apprenticeship with Stockport College.

1. No University Debt

With the majority of university tuition fees currently standing at £9,250 per year, students in England will graduate with average debts of £50,800, which rises to over £57,000 after interest charges.

As it stands Apprenticeships don’t require you to take out a student loan, or any financial commitments as apprentice courses are free. Young people can completely avoid University debt by taking an apprenticeship instead. The opportunity to get ahead of the crowd and start adult life debt-free is one of the top reasons why the majority of our apprentices decide to study with us.

2. Earn While You Learn

As well as avoiding university debt, taking an apprenticeship allows you to become financially better off. The current apprentice rate is £3.90 per hour and is the minimum amount an apprentice can be paid. Many employers pay more than this and the average weekly wage is £200. An apprentice must be paid at least the minimum rate if they are under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship. If over 19, following the first year of apprenticeship the apprentice is entitled to the minimum wage for their age group.

National Minimum Wage

  • Apprentice rate - £3.90
  • 18 to 20 years - £6.15
  • 21 to 24 years - £7.70
  • 25 and over - £8.21

Research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) shows that those who progress on to study a Professional/Higher apprenticeship will earn around £150,000 more in their lifetime. Earning a salary whilst being in education is one of the best reasons to do an apprenticeship.

3. Demand for Apprentices

The UK is currently experiencing a mass skills shortage – and global businesses are looking for apprentices who will fill the skills gap.

‘Demand for apprentice engineers has doubled in the past six years and tripled in the past twelve’, reveals John Brockett, General Manager at Derwent Training Association, the largest engineering training specialist in North Yorkshire. However, the demand for apprentices is not matched by the demand for apprenticeships. Business across industries understand the value of apprenticeships and will be working with training providers such as Trafford College to bring apprentices into their company.

The high demand for apprentices mean that now is the perfect time to get into industries such as engineering, science and pharmacy, education and hospitality.

4. Start a Career Straight from School

By the time you finish your apprenticeship, you’ll already know and understand your employer, your industry as a whole and the basic and important aspects of your specific role. Hardworking apprentices can position themselves months and sometimes even years ahead of university graduates working in the very same job.

Studies show that candidates typically apply for 27 jobs before they can secure even one job interview: particularly when combined with a lack of experience and industry contacts, young people are increasingly disadvantaged in the jobs market. Apprenticeships are the perfect way to get your foot in the door of your industry and begin your path to success.

5. Tailor Your Own Career Path

Each apprenticeship scheme is designed around the needs of the employer, you’ll gain invaluable experience, and develop the key skills that employers within that industry really want. The skills, experience and qualifications gained through apprenticeships will position you as an attractive prospect for future employers throughout your career path.

Some young people may think that if you start a career path in one industry, you will become stuck in that industry for life. Apprenticeships provide vital skills that are transferable across industries, meaning that whatever area your course covers, you can adapt the foundations of your experience into new areas of industry as your career advances. The freedom to change, shape and grow your career is the third of the top reasons to do an apprenticeship.

6. Gain Qualifications

Apprenticeships provide the opportunity to gain valuable qualifications that are relevant to the job you want, and help you find a different route to your chosen career. Apprentices can offer young people fewer exams, provide first-hand practical experience in your chosen industry, and build confidence in your skills and work abilities.

Many qualifications gained during an apprenticeship offer the same benefits and career opportunities as a university degree. For example, the AAT Apprenticeships for those interested in a Financial Services career qualify apprentices to undertake a wide range of accountancy, financial and taxation tasks, and just like university graduates, AAT apprentices can then progress to chartered status.

Apprenticeships provide a wide range of qualifications across skills and industries, including the apprenticeships we offer here at Stockport College:

  • Building Services
  • Construction Trades
  • Gas and Plumbing
  • Electrician
  • Computing
  • Early Years
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Engineering (Maintenance/Electrical/Mechanical/CAD)
  • Hairdressing
  • Professional Cookery
  • Butchery
  • Bakery
  • Hospitality Supervisor/Management
  • Motor Vehicle
  • Science (Pharmacy/Laboratory)
  • Business Administration
  • Management
  • Team Leader/Supervisor
  • Retail
  • Customer Service
  • Accounting
  • Human Resource
  • Procurement
  • Public Services
  • Learning and Skills Teacher
  • Learning Mentor

For our full apprenticeship offer and an in-depth look into the course content visit our Find an Apprenticeship section.

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