An apprenticeship is training on a skilled job so that you are ready to deal with the challenges that come your way in professional life. Starting your professional career with an apprenticeship is an excellent way to begin working in your preferred field, and thousands of young people in the UK have already benefited from a foot onto the career ladder this way. We look at the ten main reasons why an apprenticeship could be the best way to help you get onto the career ladder.
You gain practical experience
One of the most obvious benefits of doing an apprenticeship is that you are able to apply all the skills you have learnt during your studies. Apprentices gain practical experience while working at a company or organisation that is relevant to their education. Along with new entrants, a period of apprenticeship is also suitable for experienced professionals because they keep you updated with the latest developments in your industry. This hands-on training also ensures you gain more confidence in your abilities by following a structured program that makes you workplace-ready.
Suitable levels of apprenticeship
Depending on your previous education and qualifications, there are three levels of apprenticeships available in the UK which come with different requirements in terms of your experience, qualifications and educational finance. Intermediate Apprenticeship is equivalent to National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Level 2, where you learn work-based skills beneficial for your chosen career. Advanced Internships are for people who have a C or higher grade in their GCSEs or who have completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship, as it is an NVQ level 3 standard. A Higher Apprenticeship is NVQ level 4 which is suitable for people who have a good amount of prior experience or a Foundation Degree.
Personal support and guidance
Working as an apprentice means you will be a part of a team or paired up with an experienced professional. This means you will be able to learn from someone on a one-to-one basis. Learning from watching someone do the job in front of you is different from just gaining theoretical knowledge from a book or trying to do things on your own. That person shares their first-hand expertise, which is worth its weight in gold when you actually come to do the job yourself. This level of guidance and support means that when you make mistakes, you learn on the spot and make improvements immediately.
Getting used to a real working environment
Another advantage of an apprenticeship is that you get used to the various different working environments in which you will be placed as an employee. Most internships begin when you leave school, or are in your final years of education at a further or higher education college. When your knowledge is fresh, and you are eager to learn, an opportunity to get straight into the job you want to do, dealing with real world problems and being faced with real world tasks, means you can move far quicker up the career ladder than you would if you were coming in to a job with no prior experience of that environment.
More chances of instant employment
While it is not a certainty, an organisation that offers an apprenticeship to someone is far more likely to want to offer employment to that person than an outsider. They can evaluate your progress and see your potential. An apprenticeship is like one long job interview really; do a good job and show your commitment to the job and your ability to work hard and learn, and you have a great ‘in’ when a job vacancy arises in the organisation. If you complete your tasks on time and show interest in learning new things, it is highly likely that the company will provide you with a job offer.
Once you have completed the apprenticeship successfully, you become more assured of your skills and your ability to do the job, and as a consequence, you gain more confidence. This self-assurance means when you are working, you show authority, can take risks and deal with any situation that comes your way, and that’s something employers value a lot.
Enhancing your resume
While you may feel apprenticeship is hard and does not have any instant benefits if the parent company does not hire you, that’s not true. Once you have completed your time as an apprentice, there are plenty of options available for you to put your newfound knowledge and skills to the test. Most companies prefer people who have gained some practical experience after their studies because they do not have to train them from the beginning. It means you get a head start as compared to other prospective employees. Relevant industry experience is prized very highly by employers.
Increased earning potential for future
It is an underrated advantage, but once you complete your apprenticeship and apply for a job, the company will see you as someone who is ready to be integrated into a workplace environment. Training new employees and getting them up to date can be a costly and time-consuming procedure. Therefore, organisations want to hire apprentices and are willing to pay them more than others because eventually, it’s an advantage for them too as they will have someone who already has the most up-to-date knowledge and training. An apprentice can hit the ground running from the start.
Broaden your professional circle
When you are working for a company, no matter in what capacity, you need to interact with many different people. This means you can increase your professional circle, which enhances your chances of success in the industry. The most significant and prominent benefit is that there are often jobs available in a company which haven’t yet been advertised; getting to know about them through internal networking gives you a headstart on jumping up that career ladder.
Personalised learning structure
There is also the benefit to learning at your own pace. With an apprenticeship, your assessor or mentor will examine your skills and based on that, come up with a program that suits your growth. There will be weekly or monthly tasks and progress reports, which also allows you to analyse your own progress and make those improvements that are required. This is compared to school-based learning where there is usually just one programme and pace of learning that everyone needs to fit to, whether it suits them or not.
There are many other benefits of apprenticeships in addition to the ones listed here. Going through a traineeship means not only will you be able to learn more, gain lots of valuable real world, on-the-job experience and have better prospects at the end of it, but also you can explore many different avenues and aspects to the job that you didn’t know about before. Whatever you choose as your path onto the career ladder, it is essential to take your time when deciding and make the right choice for you and your future.