As the arrival of exam results days loom – Thursday 17th August for A Levels and Thursday 24th August for GCSEs – thousands of young people will be receiving their results and making some important decisions about what happens next. Whether young people receive the grades they expect or not, results day remains an important milestone for school leavers in considering their future career plans.
Apprenticeships offer a real alternative to university for those school leavers who want to earn while they learn in a real job, gaining a real qualification and a real future. Whilst a number of young people will have plans to go to university many will be undecided about their next step and searching for information and careers advice during this period. It is the perfect time for employers to tap into this bright young talent pool, through apprenticeships.
Company’s such as BT, Capgemini and WSP are just some of the many making the most of young talent and, as part of their recruitment cycle, have already made conditional apprenticeship offers to young people collecting their exam results this August.
There has never been a better time to take on an apprentice. Businesses can grow their own talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified staff in a cost-effective way in line with their workforce needs. With more and more young people considering apprenticeships as a step onto the career ladder, particularly with the rise of Degree Apprenticeships, they present an opportunity to employers to improve and diversify the skills of their business.
Across a whole range of industries, employers tell us that apprenticeships continue to deliver; in fact, 76% of employers say that the productivity of their organisation has improved with apprentices. Apprentices bring enthusiasm, energy and fresh ideas to any organisation, contributing to its development and success. We are in constant conversation with employers, both those with existing apprenticeships on offer and those who are beginning their apprenticeship journey.
Moreover, Degree Apprenticeships now enable employers to present a real alternative to university for those receiving their A Level results, or indeed for those thinking further ahead to their future career choices. Degree Apprenticeships mean businesses can train more of their employees in the high-level industry-specific skills that are critical for business growth. These apprenticeships, co-created between universities and employers, bring even more opportunities for young people, and their potential employers. Enabling organisations to train a dynamic workforce while offering a valued and recognised qualification for its employees.
In 2015/16 over a quarter of apprenticeship starts were by people under the age of 19. With many under 19s considering where to go and what their next move is this August, it is a critical time for employers to access a whole new generation who are seeing apprenticeships as their preferred route to a successful future.
Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service