28 January 2016 | Advice for Parents | Guest Author


What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is an alternative to university career route backed by the government which contains elements of theoretical work but is largely practical. The apprentice will typically spend four days a week within the company fulfilling their role and learning the profession. The other day is spent within an educational institute with a teacher/mentor who ensures the apprentice is getting the most out of their placement.

How can I help?

Without even realising it, as parents you have a massive influence on helping your child decide their next steps. It is no secret that parents are one of the most influential beings in their child’s life - what you say and think matters! If your teenager has not actively asked you for advice do not interpret it as meaning they do not want your help - they are seeking your guidance none-the-less.

There are many ways you can express what you would prefer them to do, from directly communicating it to your body language and tone when the subject is addressed. If your child is confused about what to do next, or even if they are certain about doing an apprenticeship, it is important to know the facts so you can provide them with accurate information.

Since their introduction in the 12th century and even in comparison to 50 years ago, apprenticeships have evolved tremendously. What used to be restricted to and coined as a route into manual labour roles is now a certified route into over 170 industries ranging from Creative to Accountancy. Just some of the organisations offering apprenticeships include KPMG, Southampton FC, EE, Surrey County Council, Coca-Cola, Sky and Barratt Developments.

These companies along with many others offer apprenticeships with some or all of the following benefits:

Working towards a recognised qualification

Typically an NVQ qualification will be worked towards and obtained at the end of an apprenticeship. Further developments now allow learners to gain degree level qualifications alongside experience in their chosen field.

Start earning from day one

The starting hourly rate for an apprentice is £3.30p/h. Where this is relatively low it is important to remember this is the bottom bench mark and many organisations pay more. On we’ve see apprenticeships offering £400 a week alongside great employee benefits and legal rights.

Chance of a permanent position

A large percentage of apprentices are kept on as a permanent member of staff once their programme has been completed making it a great way to get their foot on the career ladder early.

How do we help? is an online resource for school and college leavers specialising in alternatives to university. As well as apprenticeships we connect tens of thousands of school and college leavers to sponsored degrees, college leaver schemes, entry level roles, gap year placements and voluntary work. We operate nationwide and will be present at the What Career? Live Exhibition on February 26th and 27th where we will be happy to demonstrate the site and answer any burning questions. We look forward to meeting you there!

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