Apprenticeships are training programmes based in a workplace. They enable participants to earn qualifications while gaining practical experience. Apprenticeships usually offer a combination of on-the-job and classroom-based training – which can take place in a college or through personal studies. The length of apprenticeships can vary between one and four years.
WHO CAN APPLY?
In the UK, anyone above the age of 16 – who is not in full-time education – can become an apprentice. It is a great way to learn a new skill or trade and, although some apprenticeships are targeted towards people aged between 16 and 18, there is no official age limit in place.
CAN YOU GET PAID?
You can earn as you learn when it comes to apprenticeships. The National Minimum Wage is set at £3.70 for apprentices aged between 16 and 18. This also applies to those aged 19 and above – but only in their first year. If you are 19 or above, you will become entitled to at least the minimum wage – based on your age.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
A key advantage to taking up an apprenticeship over, for example, another education course is that you can gain vital industry experience and get paid while you do so. Moreover, you will be working with a reputable company, learning ‘on the job’ You will be able to build the foundations for your career, resulting in professional qualifications without student debts being mounted up.
It is vitally important to select the industry you most want to work in and review your abilities and how they could benefit you within the apprenticeship. Work out what skills you most want to learn and consider how far you could potentially go within your chosen field. Tailor your CV to best suit your chosen vocation and craft a covering letter, which displays you ‘playing to your strengths’.