In times gone by, people have seen apprenticeships as a fast-track ticket into the working world. But there’s often been a misconception attached. Apprenticeships have often been seen as low-paid or poor quality. But on this National Apprenticeship Week, we’re going to explain why this really isn’t accurate…
Fast forward to today, and apprenticeships are now seen as one of the most accessible and efficient ways to progress your career. In fact, 84% of those surveyed by RateMyApprenticeship felt that “apprenticeships were a good way to learn skills and get work experience without taking on debt.”
So what’s changed?
In April 2017 the Government brought in new legislation which changed the way apprenticeships are used. Apprenticeships now all fall under an “apprenticeship” title. For example: Studying your ACA is now called a “Level 7 Accountancy Professional Apprenticeship”.
The aim of this is to make study routes more accessible to people from all backgrounds. As part of the reform, if you’re a school leaver, you’ll now be able to study on a contract with your employer right up to Masters (MA) level. It’s a very exciting prospect.
I’m an apprentice – how does it work? How will I study at the same time?
If you’re studying for an apprenticeship there are a few key differences. All of which are designed to make you more skilled and workplace ready.
• You must have 20% off the job training. This will help avoid those horrid weekend or evening courses which don’t fall into your standard ‘working hours’.
• You’re no longer assessed solely on your technical knowledge. Skills and behaviours have been brought in to show competency in a role. This will really help if you struggle with text-book facts but have the right attitude and behaviour.
• You must complete at least two ‘end-point assessments’, allowing you to reflect on your professional work experience.
• Apprenticeships must last a minimum of 12 months and one week (372 days).
• All apprenticeships are graded offering a wider level of passes.
What are the benefits?
You’ll now be able to study to a higher qualification level, all funded by your employer.
The new changes mean you’ll become a well-rounded professional focusing on both technical and soft skills; all of which contribute to your future success.
Here’s one of our apprentices, Matthew, on what it’s like being an apprentice here: “I’m really excited by the new changes. Knowing I’m on a trailblazer framework gives me the confidence I’ll gain valuable skills which will help drive my career forward within Audit. I’m paid exactly the same as any trainee and still receive a wealth of benefits. Excluding the endpoint assessment and study leave the only real difference is the title! Apprenticeships are something we should actively encourage and feel proud of – I know I am.”
They’re better than ever
So, don’t listen to the doubters. Apprenticeships are designed to progress your career at ANY level. So whether you’re a school leaver, graduate or part-qualified professional, apprenticeships can really help your career take off.