There are so many reasons to study an apprenticeship over traditional education routes. On a surface level, apprenticeships give you instant access to valuable industry experience, a fast-track to the career you want 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.
The UK is currently experiencing a mass skills shortage, and global businesses are looking for apprentices who will fill the skills gap. The demand for apprentices have doubled in the past six years and tripled in the past twelve. Training providers such as Stockport College work with companies across Greater Manchester and the North-West to provide them with passionate and enthusiastic workers.
The high demand for apprentices means that now is the perfect time for you to get into industries such as engineering, science and pharmacy, education and hospitality.
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 agree to any financial commitments, as apprentice courses are free. Young people can completely avoid university debt by doing 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 and why you should too.
As well as avoiding university debt, doing an apprenticeship allows you to become financially better off. The current apprentice rate is £4.30 per hour and is the minimum amount you can be paid. Many employers pay more than this and the average weekly wage is £200. As an apprentice, you must be paid at least the minimum rate if you’re under 19 or in the first year of your apprenticeship. If over 19, following the first year of apprenticeship, you’re entitled to the minimum wage for your age group.
National Minimum Wage*
18 to 20 years
21 to 22 years
25 and over
*Accurate as of April 2021
Research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) shows that if you progress on to study a professional/higher apprenticeship you will earn around £150,000 more in your lifetime. Earning a salary whilst being in education is one of the best reasons to do an apprenticeship.
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.
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.
You 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 most popular reason young people choose apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships provide you with 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. An apprenticeship can offer you fewer exams, provide you with first-hand practical experience in your chosen industry, and build your confidence, 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.
You might think of apprenticeships as only offering roles in a traditional trade, such as plumbing, construction and hospitality. However, in recent years there has been an increase in apprenticeships in all industries, with some of the UK’s top companies. Below is only a taste of the sectors and industries offering apprenticeships today.