Grantham Journal column: Why not earn as you learn?
This week is National Apprenticeship Week, which is designed to showcase how apprenticeships work for individuals, employers, and the wider economy.
Young people are increasingly thinking about jobs and apprenticeships as an alternative to university after they leave school. This career route means they can earn as they learn, and there’s no need to take out student loans.
It’s also good for employers, who can train the skilled staff they need for the future, boosting their company’s competitiveness.
In fact, national research shows that two out of three small businesses keep their apprentice on after they qualify because they have developed the right kind of skills.
The drive to create more apprenticeships is supported by the Government, which last year introduced an apprenticeship levy for larger businesses.
Locally, National Apprenticeship Week is backed by the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, which includes the county council.
To make sure that both school leavers and employers both get the right support, the GLLEP has launched a new website, www.worldofwork.co.uk , which showcases the fantastic range of careers available.
Last year thousands of people living in Lincolnshire started an apprenticeship. And did you know that there’s no upper age limit? Anyone who wishes to apply for an apprenticeship job can do so, regardless of their age.
Locally, hundreds of students are enrolled on apprenticeship programmes with Grantham College, which has consistently helped them gain nationally-recognised qualifications and skills within the workplace.
Apprenticeships take one to four years to complete, depending on their level of difficulty, and the job vacancy will determine whether it’s open to someone completely new to the sector or someone who already has some experience. Some employers are taking on apprentices at Level 4 and higher, which is equivalent to the difficulty of a degree.
And they can select the apprentice just like they would any other member of staff, with a few extra steps to make sure that the right training is in place – something that the National Apprenticeship Service can help with. That means the would-be-apprentice will attend an interview, just like they would for any job. And the college or training provider may even help with the recruitment.
So an apprenticeship really is a win-win – young people are able to kick-start an exciting career and employers get the skilled staff they need. Visit the National Apprenticeship Service’s website at www.gov.uk/topic/further-education-skills/apprenticeships to find out more.