These days, there is an amazingly wide range of industries offering apprenticeships, so whatever your career aspirations there is an apprenticeship for you. There are opportunities out there in IT apprenticeships, engineering apprenticeships, in technology, finance apprenticeships, accountancy apprenticeships, agriculture, and law, as well as education, retail, art and even journalism. Apprentices can find themselves working for a whole range of employers, from big household names to smaller companies and start-ups, and working in exciting cities like London.
The IT industry offers some seriously sensational opportunities, such as apprenticeships in cyber security and employers like MI5. IT professionals develop computer solutions that help businesses and individuals, serving customers in all types of business. They could be developing software or websites, helping companies set up new systems, or training people to use their IT facilities.
Those looking to head into the field of engineering should look no further than an apprenticeship: all levels of are on offer within the sector, in a diverse range of areas. Manufacturing engineering and project analyst apprenticeships, for instance, are concerned with everything to do with the manufacturing process, or project management. Workshop roles are more hands-on, and there are other apprenticeships that concentrate on elements such as design or maintenance.
If numbers are more your thing, maybe a finance apprenticeship could be the best route for you. Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships could well lead onto Higher Apprenticeships with the same company and firm, and completion of a Higher Apprenticeship can sometimes fast-track apprentices onto the firm or bank’s graduate scheme. This route will also provide you with the benchmark industry qualifications required for a future in the industry, for example, the ACCA, AAT or ATT – all sought-after qualifications in the finance industry, and many more senior positions will require candidates to hold these qualifications as one of the essential requirements.
“Numbers people” might also want to consider accountancy apprenticeships: as long as business is going on, there will always be a need for new accountants. Their role is to keep their clients’ (public and private sector businesses of all sizes) financial information in order. The run checks to ensure that this information is being recorded accurately, and investigate whenever something doesn’t add up. They advise on how businesses can cut costs and work more efficiently. They can work both internally for a company, running ‘internal audits’ to feedback financial information to managers, and also as an external party, conducting ‘external audits’ which are a legal requirement.
An accountancy apprenticeship involves full-time work with a specialist accountancy firm or a professional services firm, lasting between three and five years depending on the company. Apprentices are likely to focus in a department such as audit or tax, and will incorporate study for a relevant professional qualification.
For more creative types there are apprenticeship opportunities in advertising, creative services (for example camera work, 3D modelling and photo editing), digital media, community arts, theatre and even journalism.
Geographically speaking, apprenticeships are all over the place, but London has the most apprentice opportunities of any city (over 40,000), by a significant margin; Birmingham is second with 10,950, which is only about a quarter of what’s on offer in the capital. But it’s not city or south-centric, there are over 10,000 apprentice opportunities in the north of the UK, and over 90,000 in the Midlands; Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all have great apprenticeship programmes available.
So, no matter where you are or what industry you want to work in – there’s an apprenticeship for you.