Why Apprenticeships Need To Be Promoted As An Alternative To University

Why Apprenticeships Need To Be Promoted As An Alternative To University

Apprenticeships Volunteer mentors Young people

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.

We need to make sure students are well informed about their options post 16

We need to make sure students are well informed about their options post 16

Apprenticeships Careers Narrowing the gap Post 16 University Volunteer mentors What's new? Work experience Young people

Post 16 options

Every young person is required to be in some form of education or training from the ages of 16-18. These years can be an incredibly exciting period, as young people for the first time are in full control over what subjects and qualifications they take. It is an opportunity to begin specialising in certain areas/subjects and to truly begin down the road to independence and adulthood. We at GT Scholars think it essential for all students to know the options that are available to them post 16, so we’ve made a list to help young people make the right choice for themselves. There is most certainly something for everyone.

A levels –

A levels are the next step for many young people post 16. They are subject-based qualifications, taken at school or college, that open up a variety of options later on. Universities and employers hold A level qualifications in high regard. They are a particularly good stepping stone towards university, as they offer a bridge between the teaching styles of schools and universities. A levels are a great academic challenge and give students the chance to further enhance their knowledge of familiar subjects such as English, Maths, History etc, or perhaps to delve into subjects that they may not have come across at school, such as Psychology or Politics.

Vocational Courses –

Another college-based post 16 option are vocational courses. They are different from A levels in that they typically are more hands-on, practical qualifications. They are specialist qualifications which focus on specific subject and employment areas, a few examples from the long list being business, social care and hairdressing . Vocational courses can help students gain employment skills and also provide a path towards a variety of university courses. They are a respected and well-established option post 16.

Apprenticeships –

Apprenticeships are gaining popularity in the UK, as more and more young people are recognising their value as a legitimate alternative to A-Levels. They offer something very different; practical, hands-on experience in a workplace. The skills you gain through apprenticeships are mostly job-specific and offer a fantastic route towards eventual full-time employment in your industry of choice. As an apprentice you can gain qualifications whilst working and earning money. The scope of apprenticeships has widened in recent years, with roles now available in a wide variety of sectors from engineering to IT to business. The modern apprenticeship is a challenging, rewarding and dynamic post 16 option.

Below are a list of links with further information to help you make the right choice for you-