Eve Johnson, Apprentice, CPD Online College

#NationalApprenticeshipWeek #LookBeyond Are Apprenticeships The Way Forward?

With apprenticeships growing in prevalence across the UK, it is more important than ever that young people understand the benefits of this educational route. When you think of an apprenticeship, it can be easy to overlook that it is, in fact, education.

For many years, apprenticeships have been considered to be an option for young people that aren’t considered to be ‘academic’. But, thankfully, opinions are changing and businesses, schools and young people alike are starting to see how apprenticeships can benefit them.

There is a new government focus in the UK on increasing and maintaining the standards of apprenticeships and vocational education. This shows that the value of apprenticeships is becoming widely understood.

Higher level apprenticeships have increased by 56% between 2018 and 2019, a staggering statistic. With the introduction of a government levy and Apprentice Service, now is a great time to consider starting an apprenticeship, as the standards have never been higher.

What is my experience being an apprentice?

I started my Level 2 Apprenticeship in November 2018 at CPD Online College, it was a new business and I have been here from the start. I decided to go down the apprenticeship route instead of university as I felt I would gain more from learning on the job.

After 5 years in high school and 2 years in college I had enough of classroom learning and wanted to get out their making money in the real world and learn while I was working.

I successfully finished my level 2 apprenticeship in November 2019 and have recently started my level 3 apprenticeship.

When you start an apprenticeship, you still feel some people around you are looking down on you, for not going to university, but I have gained a level 2 qualification, have started my level 3 and have secured a permanent contract where I work.

When you have had the right employers like I have you are nurtured and get to bloom, in my year and 3 months I have been at CPD I feel that I have learnt so much and the skills I have learnt from my on the job training are skills I wouldn’t have learnt from sitting in a classroom at university

What Are the Benefits of Apprenticeships?

 There are many benefits to apprenticeships, too many to outline here. But, we are going to focus on what are considered to be the three key benefits to choosing to go down the apprenticeship route: 

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1. Apprenticeships give you the opportunity to learn many life skills, functional skills and therefore build confidence

Starting out in the world of work can be tough, especially if you are a young adult. For many people, a growth of confidence comes from gaining skills, knowledge and experience. Apprenticeships allow people to grow and develop, whilst also enhancing their knowledge and understanding of their field of interest.

One of the most useful aspects of apprenticeships is that you learn how to learn. Now, this might sound a little confusing, but stick with it. The World Economic Forum recently published an article stating that 42% of skills requirements in employment are expected to change by 2022. With apprenticeships, you are learning in an employment environment. You are learning how to learn on the job, essentially. This is an extremely valuable ability to hold in an ever changing economy, as you will be able to adapt to whatever comes your way.

2. They are a great opportunity for people from all walks of life

The thing with apprenticeships, is that they used to be looked down upon by many as something for people who are not ‘academic’ enough to go to university. With that being said, apprenticeships are perfect for those disillusioned by education, or those who struggled to access education for whatever reason. This much is true, but they are also a great opportunity for those who thrived in ‘academic learning’ too. They truly are an option for every person to consider.

Apprenticeships have often been linked closely with social mobility. This is a huge benefit and part of this is down to the fact that they allow young people to find something they are passionate about and to develop the skills associated with that.

3. An apprenticeship is so much more than just a ‘job’

By no means are apprenticeships the easy way out. On the contrary, apprenticeships can be very challenging. By opting to take on an apprenticeship, you are making a life decision, one by which you will grow in many ways, such as those mentioned above. However, more than that, apprenticeships help you develop something that every single employer out there is searching for… resilience. Apprenticeships teach you to pick yourself up, and dust yourself off, so to speak. The skill will see you through every aspect of your life, not just your career. Believe me, developing resilience is never easy. But, boy, will it come in handy.

Apprenticeships are developing and improving all the time. They are such a huge part of education nowadays, and for good reason. You are able to develop all of the skills and knowledge required to become indispensable in the world of work. They are not an easy way out, but a challenging and beneficial educational experience for many people, no matter what your age or qualifications.

Eve Johnson, Apprentice, CPD Online College

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