Apprenticeships vs University

26 Aug 2020 Blog Learners

Leaving school and deciding what your next steps will be is stressful. Results day looked a lot different this year, the pandemic has brought its own set of challenges and has affected young people’s plans for the future.

Between the stress of results day and economic uncertainty, you might be looking for an alternative option to University. If you want to gain valuable skills that employers need, and the opportunity to kick-start your career, then an Apprenticeship is the perfect fit for you.

So, what is an apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is a work-based learning programme that enables you to learn on the job, achieve nationally-recognised qualifications, develop your skills, earn a wage and build a rewarding career.

Apprenticeships offer an alternative to essays, exams and studying that university entails. So, what can you expect instead? There are no classrooms or homework; you learn working on the job with help and support with Essential Skills in English and Maths if needed. You can be an apprentice in almost any sector! For example, did you know you can do an Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing or Business Administration? You might have thought that Apprenticeships are only for manual trades such as electricians and plumbers but this is not the case, ACT actually offer Apprenticeships in over 30 sectors!

So, what are the benefits of an Apprenticeship?

Earn whilst you learn

An Apprenticeship enables you to earn a wage whilst gaining hands-on experience in a specific sector, giving you the opportunity to apply what you are learning immediately to a work environment. It’s the best work experience you can get! On the other hand, most university courses are theory-based, only directing you towards the more practical world of work after graduation. The work experience and skills you gain with an apprenticeship will equip you with the knowledge and tools that employers are looking for.

Currently, the minimum Apprenticeship wage is £4.15/hour but lots of companies pay a higher wage than this. Our top apprenticeship salary was £25,000 a year!

No debt!

For many individuals, the prospect of racking up tens of thousands of pounds of debt can be a crucial factor when deciding whether to go to university or pursue alternative options like apprenticeships. However, Welsh government funding means that you, and your employer, don’t have to pay a penny for your Apprenticeship training. This means, you won’t be paying a student loan off for the next thirty years!

You can start at any time

You can start an apprenticeship at any time throughout the year – you don’t have to wait until September to start like college or university. This means that if you are currently in college and considering dropping out, you can get onto one of our training programmes or apply for any of our live Apprenticeship vacancies straightaway. Also, a standard university degree takes three years to complete, yet an apprenticeship can take as little as 12 months to accomplish.

How to get an apprenticeship

There are different routes into an Apprenticeship. If you currently have a job and want to develop your skills and work your way up the career ladder then great, we can work with you and your employer to help you complete an Apprenticeship. You could gain promotions in your job as a result.

On the other hand, if you think an apprenticeship could be the right next step and you’re not sure where to start, we can help. We have hundreds of Apprenticeship vacancies from top Welsh employers who are looking for bright young candidates like you!

If you need more thinking time and want to try some different options, and are aged 16-18, then our Traineeship programme could be for you! A Traineeship is a fantastic pre-Apprenticeship programme that prepares you for the world of work. Our opportunities advisors in our 7 centres across South Wales will be able to help you find out what career path you want to follow, and help you find a placement too. You will also be paid £30-50 a week.

If you think an Apprenticeship or Traineeship could be the right move for you, what are you waiting for? Apply now!

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Euro social fund Wales

The Apprenticeship, Traineeship and Jobs Growth Wales Programmes, led by the Welsh Government, are supported by the European Social Fund