Like college, university, or any choice you make after you finish school, you’ll be racking your brains with a key question: how will this choice benefit me in the future?
We are told apprenticeships provide a ‘foot in the door’. But what does this mean, exactly? Can you expect to be hired from the moment you finish an apprenticeship? And what will you learn on the apprenticeship that will help you get a job?
The apprenticeship is what you make of it
Think of it like this: an apprenticeship is half learning experience, and half full time job. So essentially, you already do have a job – earning with weekly wages (or monthly, if you wish), while also studying a qualification and educating yourself through experience. In the end, the apprenticeship will be what you make of it, and it’s in your hands to impress in the role, and stake your claim to be kept on with the company.
If you manage to score an interview for an apprenticeship, then don’t hesitate to ask the interviewer what kind of progression opportunities there are after the apprenticeship, and what previous apprentices have gone on to do afterwards.. It would not only please them that you’re thinking of progression, but it’s important for you to be aware of how the company values their apprentices going forward.
One way of securing your place while on the apprenticeship is to be a great person to have around. Easier said than done, maybe! But if you’re exceptionally lovely, you’ll show valuable social skills that are sought after in today’s workplaces. However, also stay sharp, and pick up all the technical skills that are needed. The key is to make yourself difficult to replace, and to be someone people will miss when you’re not around!
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So, how many apprentices were ‘exceptionally lovely’ and ‘difficult to replace’ enough to progress after an apprenticeship?
2016’s Statistics from the National Apprenticeship Service show that 90% of apprentices across the UK stay in employment (including 2% self-employed), with 71% staying with the same employer. Nearly a quarter (23%) of former apprentices had also been promoted within a year of finishing their apprenticeship level.
At Babington, 98% of those who have started their qualification have gone on to complete it, with 75% choosing to further their learning by taking the next level. On average, individuals with a level 3 (Advanced) apprenticeship earn between £77,000 and £117,000 more over their lifetime than individuals with level 2 (Foundation).
This shows the importance of continuing to learn and develop new skills – not only for your employment status, but also for your wallet!
The benefits that aren’t so obvious
Along with strong progression opportunities and financial incentives, apprenticeships can provide you with a number of qualities that will impress employers. These include life skills such as maturity, teamwork, confidence adapting to new technology, and the drive to achieve targets.
If you are fresh out of college or university, these ‘soft-skills’ aren’t always there from the moment you graduate, and employers may opt for someone with more practical experience. If you’re struggling to find a role due to a lack of experience, an apprenticeship could indeed be your ‘foot in the door’.
So, will an apprenticeship get you a job? The answer is yes – if you show enthusiasm and have a good work ethic, stats have shown you will be work-ready in no time.