Five Reasons – and More – to Become an Apprentice

What do you know about apprenticeships? More importantly, have you ever considered doing one? Amazing Apprenticeships, an organisation that works on behalf of the UK Government’s National Apprenticeship Service, shows us just how amazing apprenticeships are. Anna Morrison, founder and Director, explains

WHY WAS AMAZING APPRENTICESHIPS SET UP?

Apprenticeships have evolved so quickly in the last few years, and now there is a huge range of incredible opportunities for young people to join some of the country’s biggest, best-known and most exciting employers as apprentices. But sometimes the sheer volume of information out there can make it hard for students to know where to start, for schools to know how to support them, and for employers to cut through the noise. Getting the right information in front of the people who need it is what we do.

WHAT IS AMAZING APPRENTICESHIPS’ RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UK GOVERNMENT’S NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP SERVICE (NAS)?

Amazing Apprenticeships designs, develops and delivers a range of national projects that inform and inspire England’s students about apprenticeships on behalf of the NAS, which is part of the Government’s Department for Education. We work hand-in-hand with NAS.

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE ISSUE THAT AMAZING APPRENTICESHIPS IS HOPING TO ADDRESS?

Lots of students, teachers and parents just don’t realise what today’s apprenticeships are and where they can take you. There are some incredible programmes out there. Imagine leaving school and walking into a job at the BBC, Google, Rolls Royce, Amazon, Coca- Cola, or any one of the hundreds of innovative, fast-growing smaller companies out there. That’s a real option for students – and that’s why we need to share this information with young people.

OK, SO GIVE US FIVE REASONS WHY APPRENTICESHIPS ARE AMAZING.

There are so many things that make apprenticeships the perfect option for many school leavers. Here are my top five:

1) You earn while you learn, i.e. you’re getting paid as soon as you leave school.

2)  You get invaluable on-the-job experience, with mentoring from people who have a wealth of experience in your chosen industry.

3)  You’re immersed in the job every day, surrounded by opportunities to learn and progress. For example, your apprenticeship may lead to other training opportunities such as management training.

4) Apprenticeships are available in companies that people who are going to university full time dream of getting into one day. Here’s a way of skipping the queue, saving tens of thousands of pounds in university fees and starting a dream job years before most people do.

5) Degree apprenticeships even offer the opportunity to gain a full university degree while you work, without any of the usual associated debt.

Simeon Powell, former apprentice. Photo courtesy of Amazing Apprenticeships
Simeon is now Accounts & Registration Administrator at Motorpoint. Photo courtesy of Amazing Apprenticeships
Apprenticeship schemes are varied and rewarding
WHY WAS AMAZING APPRENTICESHIPS SET UP?

Apprenticeships have evolved so quickly in the last few years, and now there is a huge range of incredible opportunities for young people to join some of the country’s biggest, best-known and most exciting employers as apprentices. But sometimes the sheer volume of information out there can make it hard for students to know where to start, for schools to know how to support them, and for employers to cut through the noise. Getting the right information in front of the people who need it is what we do.

WHAT IS AMAZING APPRENTICESHIPS’ RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UK GOVERNMENT’S NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP SERVICE (NAS)?

Amazing Apprenticeships designs, develops and delivers a range of national projects that inform and inspire England’s students about apprenticeships on behalf of the NAS, which is part of the Government’s Department for Education. We work hand-in-hand with NAS.

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE ISSUE THAT AMAZING APPRENTICESHIPS IS HOPING TO ADDRESS?

Lots of students, teachers and parents just don’t realise what today’s apprenticeships are and where they can take you. There are some incredible programmes out there. Imagine leaving school and walking into a job at the BBC, Google, Rolls Royce, Amazon, Coca- Cola, or any one of the hundreds of innovative, fast-growing smaller companies out there. That’s a real option for students – and that’s why we need to share this information with young people.

OK, SO GIVE US FIVE REASONS WHY APPRENTICESHIPS ARE AMAZING.

There are so many things that make apprenticeships the perfect option for many school leavers. Here are my top five:

1) You earn while you learn, i.e. you’re getting paid as soon as you leave school.

2)  You get invaluable on-the-job experience, with mentoring from people who have a wealth of experience in your chosen industry.

3)  You’re immersed in the job every day, surrounded by opportunities to learn and progress. For example, your apprenticeship may lead to other training opportunities such as management training.

4) Apprenticeships are available in companies that people who are going to university full time dream of getting into one day. Here’s a way of skipping the queue, saving tens of thousands of pounds in university fees and starting a dream job years before most people do.

5) Degree apprenticeships even offer the opportunity to gain a full university degree while you work, without any of the usual associated debt.

WOW, THAT DOES SOUND AMAZING. BUT DON’T YOU HAVE TO BE A CERTAIN TYPE OF PERSON TO GO ON AN APPRENTICESHIP?

Different levels of apprenticeship and different programmes have different entry requirements but, potentially, there are apprenticeships out there for everyone. We talk to the country’s leading employers every day, and they’re crying out for driven, engaged applicants for apprenticeships of all levels – and from different backgrounds, too. They all have strong inclusivity policies, meaning that they actively encourage applicants from less well-represented groups in their workforce.

A great example is women in tech, engineering and other STEM fields. We hear from female students all the time who are worried about applying for jobs in these traditionally male- dominated fields – but every big STEM employer we work with is trying their hardest to encourage more applications from young women. It’s the same story for applicants from different ethnic or religious backgrounds, lower socio-economic groups, and from across the sexuality and gender spectrums. Top-flight employers want to hear from you, because they know how much you have to offer them. There’s simply no such thing as a ‘typical apprenticeship applicant’.

AMAZING APPRENTICESHIPS HAS WHAT IT CALLS VACANCY SNAPSHOT – A SNAPSHOT OF APPRENTICESHIP VACANCIES THAT ARE COMING UP SOON ACROSS ENGLAND. WHAT’S ITS PURPOSE AND HOW MANY VACANCIES ARE THERE, ROUGHLY?

Our Vacancy Snapshot platform has masses of information from leading STEM employers – including details of individual programmes, how and when to apply and much more – from the likes of Google, IBM, TFL, Siemens, Network Rail, RAF Engineering, Airbus and many more. The official place to look for vacancies with all employers is on the government website ‘Find an apprenticeship’: https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship. On this site you’ll find around 20,000 live vacancies at any one time.

Vacancy Snapshot is designed to work alongside this website and is a great first port of call for your apprenticeship journey. We’ve teamed up with a selection of the country’s best- known apprenticeship employers to give you an overview of the opportunities they offer, looks behind the scenes, tips on maximising your application’s chances, and much more.

WHAT OTHER RESOURCES DO YOU HAVE THAT ARE AIMED SPECIFICALLY AT YOUNG PEOPLE?

Our range of resources designed to help young people navigate the world of apprenticeships is huge – from printable resources like booklets, brochures, activity packs and posters to video and dedicated web platforms. We have lots of live broadcasts available on catch-up with some of the country’s biggest and best-known apprenticeship employers, featuring Q&As with real apprentices and information about what day-to-day life is like for apprentices at those companies. All of our resources are free. You can find them all at www.amazingapprenticeships.com

ABOUT ANNA MORRISON

“As founder and Director of Amazing Apprenticeships, I oversee all of our projects, working closely with the National Apprenticeship Service to look for exciting, engaging new ways to improve understanding and awareness around apprenticeships.”

ABOUT AMAZING APPRENTICESHIPS

Set up in 2015, Amazing Apprenticeships helps students, teachers and employers to navigate the exciting, fast-changing world of apprenticeships. To do that, it delivers a range of inspiring projects designed to improve communication and understanding around apprenticeships between schools, students and employers.

MEET AN APPRENTICE

Apprentices come from all backgrounds and cultures. And many are managing to side-step university and start earning a decent wage from all manner of companies – Google, IBM, Siemens…. If you’re unsure whether an apprenticeship is for you, why not tap into the young apprentice ambassador network

The Young Apprentice Ambassador Network is a community of apprentices and former apprentices who take the time to share their apprenticeship stories with young people, teachers, parents and employers. Anna Morrison tells us more.

HOW MANY YOUNG AMBASSADORS ARE THERE?

We currently have just over 600 Young Apprentice Ambassador Network members. These are all current or past apprentices who have volunteered to give their time to go into schools and colleges across England, and share their experience of being an apprentice.

HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT MEETING AND TALKING TO AN AMBASSADOR?

Inviting a Young Apprentice Ambassador to talk at a school is one of the best ways of helping them to share their story with the apprentices of tomorrow. Booking an Ambassador is easy – schools can book their talk by visiting www.amazingapprenticeships.com and clicking ‘Young Apprentices Ambassadors’.

SIMEON POWELL
Young Apprentice Ambassador and Accounts & Registration Administrator for Motorpoint

AGE: 26

APPRENTICESHIP: ASSOCIATION OF ACCOUNTING TECHNICIANS HIGHER APPRENTICESHIP, 2013

OTHER QUALIFICATIONS GAINED THROUGH THE APPRENTICESHIP: TWO-YEAR MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME

WHY HE BECAME AN APPRENTICE: “I wanted to work! Ultimately, I knew this would give me options in the future. In myself, I knew I wanted to start my career as early as possible, with the experience to earn more later. The fact I could be paid to do that is a bonus.”