Apprenticeships can equip you for life while gaining top-class qualifications

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IMAGINE a role where you’re paid to learn on the job while gaining top-class qualifications.

Welcome to the world of apprenticeships. The “earn as you learn” schemes are now the UK’s most popular professional qualifications and are held by around one in 20 of the workforce.

‘Earn as you learn’ apprenticeship schemes are now one of the UK’s most popular professional qualifications

Demand is boosted as the cost-of-living crisis drives youngsters to seek ways to gain a degree without going into debt.

New figures from homebuilder Redrow reveal that 56 per cent of young people are more likely to consider an apprenticeship over university this year, rising from 46 per cent in 2022.

‘Unique insight’

Oliver Sidwell, co-founder of site RateMyApprenticeship.co.uk, says: “The antiquated belief that apprenticeships are only for tradespeople has been blown out of the water by forward-thinking companies.”

All apprenticeships are ranked by level, with a Level 2 equivalent to GCSEs, a Level 3 to A levels and a Level 7 to a masters degree.

There are more than 600 types of apprenticeship.

Annual National Apprenticeship Week begins on Monday.

It is being backed by business leaders and politicians, including Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, who took an apprenticeship herself.

Jaguar Land Rover is hiring 300 apprentices to build electric vehicles this year

She said: “My apprenticeship was my golden ticket.

“Starting out in a car factory at 16 may not seem like the most glamorous career choice, but it gave me a unique insight into how the business operated, from the boardroom to the shop floor.

“I learnt the skills that businesses truly value and it launched an international business career.

“Whatever career goals you aspire to, they can be achieved through an apprenticeship.”

You can find out more at nationalapprenticeshipweek.co.uk and search for your ideal job at bit.ly/3kZ9ZZN.

APPRENTICESHIP WEEK’S TOP 5 EMPLOYERS

BAE SYSTEMS: The defence giant is hiring 1,400 apprentices. Details at baesystems.com/earlycareers.

WHITBREAD: Join one of its household-name brands. See over 1,150 roles at whitbreadcareers.com.

GO AHEAD: Get moving with 1,020 bus and rail apprentices. See bit.ly/3DzpZrA.

ALDI: The supermarket is hiring 500 apprentices, with jobs in stores, logistics, buying and HGV driving. See bit.ly/40nAx6Y.

BT: Find your calling with 235 apprenticeships across engineering, customer service, applied research, and cyber security. See bt.com/careers/early-careers.

TIPS TO THRIVE AT TRAINING

GET the inside track on how to make the most of being an apprentice.

Arjun Rai, who sits on the Institute for Appren­ticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) panel, has these tips:

Arjun Rai shares five tips on thriving as an apprentice

  • 1. Reference the commitment statement: The agreement between employer, apprentice and training provider at the very start of the apprenticeship sets out expectations clearly. These are a great point of reference for all parties.
  • 2. Give SMEs a chance: Small businesses make up the majority of UK firms and many trainees report being more positive about working in a small firm rather than large.
  • 3. Join apprentice networks: Use National Apprenticeship Week to find out all relevant information and sources of support.
  • 4. Ask your employer about the balance of online and face-to-face training: Employers should state this in the job description.
  • 5. Consider travel costs: If an employer chooses to use a training provider some distance from the apprentice’s place of work, you could incur significant costs. The IfATE panel encourages employers to cover travel costs in full.
  • 6. Remember your wellbeing, especially when you WFH: Employers have a duty of care to ensure apprentices have the resources and support they need to learn and work effectively and safely, whether from home or the office.

ENGINEER NEW CAREER ON THE GRID

POWER up your career with National Grid Electricity Distribution which has 120 apprenticeships, including for fitters and overhead line workers.

The three-year course leads to a Level 2 qualification in electrical engineering. Apply now at careers.nationalgrid.co.uk.

British Gas is offering 500 apprenticeships, including on smart meter and heat engineering programmes. Open to anyone 16 and over at centrica.com/careers.

Tuck into a tasty career in the food industry. Mars Wrigley, makers of Snickers, Maltesers and Mars, has 32 apprenticeships in manufacturing, engineering, health and safety, plus sales and digital. See bit.ly/3DwQT3h.

Nestle is offering 39 apprentice roles, covering engineering, manufacturing, food technologist, supply chain, health, safety and environment. Visit bit.ly/3l2uWTC.

There are 17 vacancies open at multinational food company Mondelez. See bit.ly/3JxgwF2.

Food service provider Baxter Storey has 30 jobs.
Email baxterstorey.com/tag/apprenticeship/ for more info.

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