It's that time of the year where year 10 and 11 students (age 15 and 16) start to decide what they want to focus on as their career. As they contemplate every option, the main focus seems to be A-Levels and university. This is where I come in! I was invited back to my old school to talk to small groups of Year 10 students about the apprenticeship route.
What did I tell them about apprenticeships? The truth - apprenticeships are here for young people to start their career in their desired industry whilst gaining the recognised qualification. The main question that was asked was surrounding the much higher level of a degree, however you can now get a degree through an apprenticeship! So rather than paying all of the fees for university and gaining all the debt, you can get paid to get your degree instead. This is through the level 4, 5 and 6 qualifications. On top of getting paid and not gaining any debt, you will also be gaining a huge amount of experience with a company, therefore upon completing the degree level apprenticeship, you have a good chance of becoming a full-time employee with the company.
One point that I have noticed fairly frequently over the past few months is that a large amount of students don't understand the importance of apprenticeships and how you can do an apprenticeship in nearly anything. There are only a couple of subjects that cannot be completed as an apprentice, for example becoming a doctor or a lawyer, but you can be an apprentice in nearly everything else. So instead of gaining debt, earn the money, get the qualification and the experience, after all, your first full time job is the best experience!
I think my visit back to school was very successful and the students left with a much bigger understanding of the apprenticeship option of employment.