According to Government figures, almost one million 16-24 year olds are currently unemployed. Of those that continue into further education, most will end up leaving with over £26,000 of debt. But you do have an alternative, and that’s an apprenticeship.
An apprenticeship shouldn’t be thought of as something you do because you’re not going to university, and it’s not a glorified internship. It’s a real job where you get access to training and experience that will give you a real advantage in the job market. It’s also a choice that won’t saddle you with tens of thousands of pounds of debts that you will be paying back for the rest of your life.
A 2011 survey found that the average student debt in England after three years at university was around £26,000. Plus, your chances of being unemployed six months after a degree finishes are around 1 in 3 for a computing course. Of those in work, only 50% were in IT - 12% were working in shops, restaurants and bars.
With an apprenticeship you receive a wage throughout your training. The national minimum wage for an apprentice is around £170 a week and we recommend that your employer increases this as you pass your exams. You also get paid holiday.
While you’re not guaranteed a job at the end of your 12 months, a recent survey shows more than four out of five (83% of) apprentices are still working for their employer a year after the course finishes. Nearly half (42%) had received a promotion after completing their apprenticeship.
Taking a Firebrand Apprenticeship will lead onto:
So apply now and don’t delay.
But don’t just listen to us here’s what Dragons' Den investor Peter Jones says about apprentices:
Throughout my career, some of my best hires have been people who have bypassed the traditional route of university and learned their skills through apprenticeship schemes or alternative education courses. They have come to the workplace with a solid understanding of the real world and a steely determination to succeed. Those are the characteristics we need in order to build an entrepreneurial Britain. Peter Jones, The Guardian, July 2012
And listen to what one apprentice said about the benefits they received from their apprenticeship:
Doing the apprenticeship definitely made it possible for me to get my job. It has helped me to get into jobs that are better paid and a bit more exciting. If I hadn’t done it, I would probably just be working in a pub or something, but now I am a Regional Account Executive with a company car, phone and laptop, and seriously thinking about taking my present boss’s post when he leaves. Apprentice, Level 3 ICT, Learning and Skills Council (LSC)