Times are changing for young people after they leave school. Once, no one went to university, and then there was a boom where it felt like everyone was going, and it was the only option. Now, with there being a surplus of job candidates with undergraduate degrees, many employers may be attaching less significance to the academic route, and you might be considering the other paths available to you.
Not only does an apprenticeship allow you to get paid at the same time as you’re learning, but it gives you an advantage over university students when it comes to real workplace experience. Whilst the university experience is great, if you already know what field you want to go into, an apprenticeship allows you to get a real taste of what you can expect in your career.
But what can you expect if you pick an apprenticeship? We share three things to help you decide if an apprenticeship is right for you.
You have the same rights as other employees
It’s important to understand your employee rights when you’re working in an apprenticeship. Whilst most reputable employers will be on hand to make sure that you have the right paperwork, understanding what to expect can save you from missing out on anything that you’re owed.
You have the right to the same benefits as full employees working at the same grade or in a similar role to you. This includes holiday and sick days, coaching and mentoring, and any extra schemes like childcare vouchers. Hopefully it won’t happen, but should the company hit hard times, you also have the same rights to redundancy as similar employees.
You will get a qualification at the end
The major benefit of completing an apprenticeship is that you get a qualification at the same time as getting paid. This isn’t specific to your employer during your apprenticeship, so if you choose to move to another job in the future in the same sector, you could still use this certificate as proof of your skills.
As well as your employer, you will be supported by a learning organisation, such as a university or college, who will help you complete any academic requirements for your qualification. It’s likely that you’ll spend approximately one day there per fortnight with other apprentices, and you’ll have a tutor who you can reach out to for support.
The majority of apprentices stay in employment
The Apprentice Learner Survey reports that the majority of apprentices stay in employment after they complete their qualification (85%), with 64% even staying with the same employer. There’s no obligation to stay with the same employer unless that’s in your contract, and once you’re qualified, you may want to get a change of scenery, or move to a more senior position elsewhere.
But when you apply for apprenticeship roles, make sure to do your research and check that the company is the right fit for you. After all, you’re likely to be there for several years, and they’re going to be responsible for supporting your growth and development. Making sure that they’re a good culture fit is just as important as them offering the qualification you want.