The government has pledged to deliver 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.
What is an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are funded by employers and the government, and are a great alternative to college or university. They combine practical training in a job with study, and last between one and four years. They are available at different levels, and have academic equivalents:
Name Level Academic equivalent Intermediate 2 5 GCSEs grades A*-C Advanced 3 2 A-levels Higher 4, 5 Foundation degree Degree 6, 7 Bachelor's or Master's degree
Apprentices work alongside experienced staff, gaining job-specific skills and earning a wage. At the same time they study for a related qualification.
Who are they for?
Anyone aged 16 and over who is not in full-time education.
What types are available?
There are apprenticeship qualifications for hundreds of jobs, in most industries and businesses of all sizes, both in practical and office environments.
What will an apprenticeship mean for my future career prospects?
Employers will really value the combination of a qualification and work experience you’ll gain with an apprenticeship. At the end of the apprenticeship you could choose to look for a job, progress to the next level of apprenticeship, or return to higher education.
What if I don’t yet know what I want to do as a future career?
Completing an apprenticeship in a subject that could be applied to many different industries (e.g. business admin, communications) will give you valuable experience of the working world and time to think about the future.
How much will I get paid?
The minimum wage for apprentices applies only to those in their first year and those under 18; after this it increases to the minimum wage for your age. However most employers, including Winchester and the councils in the Hampshire Apprentice Partnership, pay more.
Employing an Apprentice
As well as giving a young person a valuable career opportunity, an apprenticeship also has benefits for the employer. For example:
- Grow your team and increase productivity while keeping staff costs down
- Develop new talent to meet your needs
- Give your team a fresh perspective, new energy, skills and ideas
- Increase employee loyalty and retention, reducing spend on recruitment and training
- Increase customer loyalty by visibly investing in young people
Although apprentices are generally young people taken on as new employees, anyone over the age of 16 can become one, so an existing employee could undertake an apprenticeship too.