From education to employment

University Isn’t For Everyone – I’m Getting To Learn And Earn At The Same Time 

Ahead of GCSE and A level results days, Rated People wants to shine a light on the opportunities available to young people in trade professions, including high earnings, low stress, and a strong work-life balance.

Shockingly, new research from the trades platform reveals 48% of UK adults weren’t offered a trade career as a job option when they received careers advice at school and Rated People wants this to change.

To illustrate the benefits of opting for a trade apprenticeship, we hear from Adnan Boodoo, 19 from London – currently an apprentice at InHouse Heating and Plumbing, and here he explains why he thinks more people should consider apprenticeships instead of going to university.

Why an apprenticeship?

Adnan left school at 16 to go to college. He enrolled in a mechanics course at Waltham Forest College and just a few months in, it was clear he wasn’t enjoying it. He knew it wasn’t the right fit for him and he knew it wasn’t the career he wanted to have. He explored different options, considering university, but instead, he chose to find an apprenticeship so he could get to learn and earn at the same time, and crucially avoid the mountain of debt you can become lumbered with when you go to university.

Adnan thinks more should be done to encourage young people into trade professions as well as promote the fact that university isn’t the only option.

Becoming a plumbing apprentice 

Adnan says “I’ve been an apprentice for more than a year now. I was lucky that a family member who works in the trades highlighted the opportunities in plumbing and suggested I should consider doing an apprenticeship.”

This planted the seed for Adnan’s future role as a plumbing apprentice and opened his eyes to the fulfilling world of the trades industry – something that school failed to show him.

The benefits of an apprenticeship 

“An apprenticeship has so many benefits. I think the biggest is that you’re earning money whilst you’re learning, instead of getting into debt. I’m gaining really valuable on-hand experience from people who have been in the industry for years and I’m getting paid at the same time.” 

“I learn something new each day, whether it’s with the people I work with or other builders and tradespeople, so I’m developing a range of different practical skills that I’ll be able to use for my career. I also love getting to travel around the UK and experience different places while working on people’s homes.” Adnan continued.

Career goals

The industry is currently experiencing a severe labour shortage, with almost two-thirds (63%) of UK trades struggling to fill roles this year, according to Rated People’s recent research. So, with so much demand for new skilled workers, Adnan’s career development is looking promising. 

“My career goal is to become a fully qualified gas engineer and doing this apprenticeship will help me achieve that, allowing me to get my qualifications and gain valuable on-the-job experience along the way,” says Adnan.

“It gives me a clear route to achieve something I didn’t know I had a chance of achieving.” He added.

Why more needs to be done to encourage young people into the industry 

Adnan says “I wasn’t offered a trade job in school; I think it’s because there are negative stereotypes around trade jobs, that they’re tiring manual jobs and they don’t pay well. When the reality is you can earn loads in trade jobs. It was only after I went to college that I became aware of the opportunities available and I’m so glad I got this insight.”

Adnan continued “I think schools try to encourage the more traditional route into further education, like university courses – they only suggested options that were orientated towards university to me, which just isn’t for everyone”. 

When it comes to trying to get more young people into the trades, Adnan says:

“I feel like they should promote it more in schools and maybe allow people to do work experience or have career events in schools. Even things like workshops, where it might spark some interest. People just need to be made aware that there are other options”. 

Adnan’s advice to those looking at getting into the trades industry is “research different trades online to see which you’d be most interested in. Find out about what they do and then get advice from people who are already in that trade – then you can look for apprenticeships within that trade”. 

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