Apprenticeships are transforming the career paths of young people

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Apprenticeships are transforming the career paths of young people

Apprenticeships are increasing; young people are looking for an alternative route to a good career outside of university, the government wants to bridge the skills gap and companies want to attract fresh talent. All of this is leading to the highest level of apprenticeships we have ever seen and it's changing the face of the standard education pathway.

2019 is showing an increase in apprenticeships following the addition of more higher-level and advanced apprenticeships offered by businesses after the introduction of the apprenticeship levy. The latest round of provisional start data for apprenticeships compiled in February 2019 reported 25,300 new apprenticeship starts, up 16% on the previous year.

More and more students are realising that further education and university isn’t the only pathway they should take. University shouldn’t be considered a one-size-fits-all solution to kickstarting your career. Especially when you are just leaving school and are unsure of your next steps, apprenticeships can be a financially risk-free way to grasp the opportunities designed to train and assist young people. Construction firm Redrow, which polled 1,001 individuals between the ages of 18 and 21, found 54 per cent of respondents would now actively consider an apprenticeship.

However, it seems there’s a lack of advertising apprenticeships as a career path to young people. Redrow found nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) said apprenticeships were not promoted in schools in the same way as other educational routes.

This move toward apprenticeships makes sense as what it offers aligns with young people’s desire for their career. Harvard Business Review found that the potential to achieve career progression and higher future earnings was one of the top priorities for survey participants. For many, this will include the need for further training, which apprenticeships can offer, empowering workforces to reach their career potential.

Apprentices benefit the businesses too. Lowering the cost of training and recruitment, tackling skills shortages in your business and being able to train people in the context of your organisation are all major positives. The National Apprenticeship Service reports that 69% of employers say that apprenticeships improved staff retention and 65% of apprentices stay working for the company that trained them, which are lasting benefits.

From butchery to floristry, from mechanical engineering to carpentry and joinery there’s an apprenticeship for everything. Take the organisation WorldSkills UK. It is all about improving the prestige of apprenticeships and technical education, to inspire more young people to consider these as career routes and get off to a better start in work and life. One of the ways WorldSkills are encouraging apprenticeships is by engaging thousands of young people in skills competitions right across the UK, where they improve their technical and employability skills to the highest possible national standard. Then select the best in the UK and put them into an accelerated development programme to compete with the best in the rest of the world. One of the regional heats of WorldSkills is being held here by our partners the Royal School of Military Engineering. We even have some of our learners being entered into six different categories across construction and engineering! Initiatives like this are important for raising awareness apprentices across the country.

If you are interested in finding out more about apprenticeships or how MKC Training can support your apprentices with our world-class trades training knowledge and equipment, contact us here.

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