Apprenticeships are a hot topic in the employment world at the moment, with the start of March seeing National Apprenticeship Week celebrated around the country. But despite the introduction of a new apprenticeship levy in May 2017, apprentice numbers plummeted between May and July, with starts falling by 61% compared to the period between February and April. As employers settle into the levy and the new year brings with it changes in how young people are approaching their employment plans, will we see apprenticeship numbers creep higher? And what benefits do apprenticeships offer those who undertake them?

Get paid while you learn

One of the most compelling reasons to embark on an apprenticeship is the financial stability it can give you. Unlike university, which can leave many graduates with multi-thousand pound loans, apprenticeships allow you to be paid while you learn and gain qualifications. Apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage and received paid holiday, meaning they may have less financial stress than university students.

Join a big-name business

For many university graduates and school-leavers, the chance to get started in a leading British or international business is slim to none. However, many of the most well-known and highly regarded businesses throughout the country offer appealing apprenticeship programmes, giving people the chance to gain experience and exposure in a major established business. Big brands like Travis Perkins, Virgin Media and Harrods all offer competitive apprenticeship schemes, helping people to get a foot in the door.

Get hands-on experience

Apprenticeships are typically structured around a particular vocation or field of work, training you to become a qualified and experienced practitioner in your chosen industry. They blend practical training with theoretical learning, and you’ll often be learning directly from someone working in your chosen position – as opposed to a university lecturer. Apprenticeships give you immediately applicable tools to support you in the working world, and often result in recognised industry qualifications to boot.

Apprenticeships suit a variety of people, from school-leavers to those who don’t want to go to university and even professionals looking for a career change. No matter your situation, there could be an apprenticeship for you!

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