For a long time, apprenticeship was seen as the connecting route between education and employment. Today, a large number of people are attracted to apprenticeship because it provides the opportunity to earn while they learn.
In the UK, National Apprenticeship Week, into its seventh year, aims to raise the awareness about apprenticeship programs among pupils, parents and teachers. The National Apprenticeship Week usually runs from March 3 to 7 every year.
Apprenticeships are Better for Young Students
Anyone aged 16 and above can take part in apprenticeship program, which generally lasts for between one and four years. Those taking part in the program are considered as the employees of the company, which is liable to pay at least the national minimum wage of £2.68 to under-19s. Participants can also study for their qualification, mostly after they are leased for the day, at college.
Those who are studying at intermediate, advanced and higher levels can take part in apprenticeship programs.
Participation in Apprenticeship Program
In terms of participation, it is still small in comparison with the alternate educational routes. About 108,000 out of 495,000 pupils enrolled for university course took part in apprenticeship in the first quarter of 2013-14. However, if compared with previous years’ trends, the numbers have grown swiftly. In 2012-13 alone, about 860,000 pupils were taking on apprenticeship programs. The figure is double from the past five years.
— Phil Hallam (@Philip_Hallam) March 4, 2014
Apprenticeship programs have become more interesting alternative to full-time working professional and university students because of the recession and mounting tuition fees. The National Apprentice Week held in early March was aimed to increase awareness about the virtues of apprenticeship programs.
Karen Woodward, Deputy Director at the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) says that the prestige of the companies involved in the program has boosted the popularity of this career path.
Prestigious Companies Take Part in National Apprenticeship Week
Some of the prestigious companies taking part in the program include Rolls-Royce, BAE and BT, banks and consultancy firms like PwC and Barclays. Usually, there are more than 10 applicants vying for one place, which makes the competition stiff.
Woodward says, “Getting into some of these blue-chip apprenticeship programmes can be as difficult as getting into Oxford or Cambridge,”
In the National Apprenticeship Week, pupils belonging to diverse career fields, such as accounting, piloting, PR, project management, were given opportunities for 1,500 different roles in 170 sectors by about 100,000 employers.
So, pupils at intermediate, advanced and higher levels are suggested to take part in apprenticeship programs, as it may change the future course of their career for better.