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Is an apprenticeship for me?
Part of our support for National Apprenticeship Week
Date published: 10th February 2021
So far we have been talking about how apprenticeships can benefit organisations. Today we are going to talk about how they benefit the apprentice, including the pros and cons of starting an apprenticeship.
An apprenticeship offer someone the opportunity to gain valuable work skills in the job they are training for, which cannot be gained from study alone. By undertaking an apprenticeship route it increases employability at the end of the qualification as there is evidence of work experience in addition to the qualification.
Higher and degree apprenticeships allows people to earn a degree whilst they work which is great for those where full time education just isn’t a practical option.
Using apprenticeships to increase your knowledge and skills in your current occupation increases your earning potential and opportunities for career progression!
- Anyone over the age of 16 can apply for an apprenticeship
- Some levels of apprenticeships will require different levels of existing qualifications
- If you are not ready for an apprenticeship, traineeships can help you prepare for one
- You will get paid at least minimum wage for your age
- If you are using an apprenticeship to upskill in your current role, your current rate of pay will remain in place
- You will not have to pay anything towards your training regardless of the level you are studying
- You will receive a minimum of 20 days holiday plus bank holidays
- If you are under the age of 25 and have previously been in local authority care, you could be eligible for a bursary payment
Why consider an apprenticeship?
- You can earn while you learn and you get your training paid for, so no student debt!
- Study up to, and including degree level with apprenticeships
- Whatever your age, it is never too late to change your career
- There are apprenticeships available in thousands of organisations right now (including here at NNDC!)
- Work alongside experts in the field you are studying, getting real on the job experience
- Increase your employability upon completion with work experience in addition to being qualified in your chosen occupation
What our apprentices have to say
Allan from our Property team explained why he chose to undertake an apprenticeship stating that: “Having spent years of my life in jobs, I decided I wanted more of a career and to put my skills and experience into a qualification”.
We asked Nicola one of our Benefits Officers what she considered were the benefits of being an apprentice, Nicola said: “The benefits are that you gain experience and a qualification at the same time, and you get a lot of support from colleagues. It can also, like with me, go on to a permanent career. I did my apprenticeship 4/5 years ago and I’m now completing a management course”.
We asked Maz from our Benefits team what she would say to someone who is considering an apprenticeship: “Definitely go for it! It’s the best decision I ever made and completely changed my life as I now have a diploma in business and administration as well as qualifications in Maths, IT and English as well as a career that I’m proud of”.
What to consider
- Apprenticeships are hard work, combining high level study with a full time job takes commitment, you need to be sure of your direction before undertaking an apprenticeship
- Wages can be lower than your peers especially for those under the age of 25
- Those study degree apprenticeships miss out on the cultural aspect of going to university fulltime
It takes great courage to get out there and start a career, but thousands of people are doing that right now. So whoever you are, whatever your background – your new career could be out there.
You can find out more about apprenticeships in England, Scotland and Wales on GOV.UK.
Last updated: 24th September 2021