Why Apprenticeships Need To Be Promoted As An Alternative To University

Why Apprenticeships Need To Be Promoted As An Alternative To University

One of the main questions asked by recruiters worldwide is whether a job applicant has the relevant experience for the role applied for. Knowledge can be one of the crucial deciding factors within any job placement. Although many companies still require that employees undergo internal training, they would still like to know whether the candidate has had some experience in the field and whether they are familiar with the job requirements and responsibilities associated with the position they are applying for. This is where an apprenticeship becomes a valuable asset for gaining entry into your career of choice. 

An Apprenticeship is a great way to provide young career enthusiasts with the opportunity to gain knowledge in the field even before their career has started. This will enable them to confidently apply for jobs, knowing they have some relevant experience that will count in their favour.

Apprenticeships allow young people to gain practical experience and put their theoretical expertise to the test. In the United Kingdom, apprenticeships are entitled to the minimum wage rate for their age, allowing working-class students to set aside their financial worries whilst gaining a degree.

Internships enable students to gain practical knowledge of something they are learning in their academic world. A company will provide them with an opening in a department where they can start learning more about a particular career. Experience for post-school careers is then gained, making applying for jobs in the future much more accessible.

Young people considering an apprenticeship can benefit in many ways:

Getting to know your abilities & skills:

Identifying your strengths and discussing them with your tutor or mentor is one thing. Putting these strengths into practice and developing them is something completely different. During an internship, you will work closely with experienced people who have been in the industry for some time. Use this time to observe and learn from them. You need to use your time to grow professionally as well as personally.

An apprenticeship serves as a window into the working world where one will have to make decisions, take responsibility for them, and face the consequences that result from them. You will get to know yourself and how you operate under pressure. You will understand how the things you have learnt in the classroom are tested in real life. On-the-job training will provide real-life situations to test your abilities and skills.

Gaining Confidence:

Being allowed to work in a professional environment with professional people is an excellent recipe for self–confidence. Your assigned supervisors will contribute a great deal to your internship experience. They know you are there to learn and gain knowledge without the pressure and responsibilities of an employee in a new job where you need to prove yourself. You will be allowed to be yourself without too much pressure.

Each company works differently, but most have performance-based feedback sessions for apprentices or internship employees. This is how most companies evaluate their employees and make them feel important and appreciated. You will have regular feedback sessions on a weekly/monthly basis to see how you are performing and coping in your department. This, in turn, helps you to mould your professional confidence.

Networking Skills:

Networking and acquiring new connections within the business world are vital for future growth within any industry you want to excel. Meeting new people and gaining industry-specific insight is valuable for building up your knowledge. Ultimately, it boils down to that old saying, “Knowledge is power’’.

Apprenticeships allow you the opportunity to gain knowledge in your professional field. One of the other significant advantages is that you will also receive a reference letter once your apprenticeship is completed. The reference letter will be an added advantage for your curriculum vitae. During an internship, you will most likely move between departments so that you can get a better understanding of the company as a whole. Each department works together to deliver the final product or service. Therefore, employers must move you around during your time at the company. It also allows you to meet people in different ranks and chains of command.

Future Job Potential:

Starting your career at a young age can potentially give you a head start,  especially considering that your job would be on hold if you were only attending university and not working simultaneously. Apprenticeships allow you to have a head-start in the future job market, especially when you come from a lower-income household.

Gaining Industry-Specific Knowledge:

Practical experience is crucial. There is only so much the textbooks can teach you. On-the-job training will give you insight into things you would never learn in a classroom. You can work with experienced staff members who you can know from. You can then practise these skills within a professional environment and put yourself to the test. If you are studying for a university degree on the side, you can still obtain your degree whilst gaining experience simultaneously.

Over the last decade, apprenticeships have quickly become a popular new way of climbing the corporate ladder. It is also much quicker than the traditional study route and applying for jobs afterwards. A mentor can guide you step by step on applying for these positions and help you decide which positions are the best and worth applying for.

The GT Scholars Programme is a not-for-profit social enterprise that offers various programmes and workshops to provide young people between the ages of 11 to 16 with the necessary skills to set them on a successful career path, improve grades and enrich their mentoring experiences.

Our GT Scholars Awards Programme offers one-to-one mentoring sessions and free access to our enrichment or skill-building events. Our mentors provide young people with ongoing coaching to equip them with the strategies and tools they need to achieve their personal goals. This helps our scholars discover their strengths and develop their resilience, and it helps build confidence in their abilities. Sign up here and look out for our enrichment days and skill-building workshops.

GT Scholars
Apprenticeships Volunteer mentors Young people