After National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) 2021, it is crucial we take a moment to look back at the purpose of NAW and consider some of the issues it aims to address. The goal of National Apprenticeship Week this year was to encourage everyone to consider how apprenticeships help individuals to build the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, as well as combat any negative misconceptions which are unfortunately all too often associated with apprenticeships.
Although many of us understand how valuable and rewarding apprenticeships can be, out-dated attitudes toward them are pervasive, with some people still viewing them as less prestigious than an academic degree, which in turn can deter people for applying for apprenticeships. Tackling these deep-rooted, often negative stereotypes, is what NAW is all about, as well as offering employers and current apprentices the chance to showcase the value and advantages of taking an apprenticeship.
So, to wrap up National Apprenticeship Week, I thought I would explore some of the wonderful benefits of choosing to take an apprenticeship:
- It pays!
For many, apprenticeships offer the all-important chance to earn while they learn. This is a really critical factor, as the hefty price-tag of degrees can act as a deterrent for potential students who want a chance to take their learning further. Students can enter into apprenticeships knowing they won’t be left in debt at the end of their course – a welcome thought indeed!
- First-hand experience
Apprenticeships are unique as they offer students a chance to learn on the job, meaning you have the opportunity to get to grips with your chosen industry from the inside. This is so important, as students can be confident they will finish their course with the direct skillset they need to pursue the career they want.
Leaving your studies and not having a job lined up is a scary process for all who have faced it. As apprenticeships are by their very nature vocational, it means that many who choose to take this route can rest assured that their course is likely to result in employment. Not just that, it is likely to lead to a job in the very thing they want to do!
- Unique Skills
This links to some of the above points, but apprenticeships offer students a chance to learn very practical skills, which will give them the comfort of knowing they have already learnt what it takes to do the job they love.
On the flipside to this, it can help students quickly get a true insight into whether this is the right professional path for them or not! Unfortunately, with occasionally hundreds of applicants for even an unpaid internship, this sector specific knowledge can be tough to gain – so apprenticeships play a vital role in helping equip young people with insider experience of a role and wider industry.
All in all, it is very much down to the individual which educational path is right for them, but it is important we all give apprenticeships the respect they deserve. And thankfully, National Apprenticeship Week gives us the chance to do this!