National Careers Week: Kickstart your Career with an Apprenticeship

5 minutes

Running from 6th to 11th March, National Careers Week aims to help people become more aware of their career prospects. As a key development tool, apprenticeships combine a qualification with a full-time career.

National Careers Week runs from Monday 6th to Saturday 11th of March. It aims to help people become more aware of their career prospects. The free service isn’t only for young people. It can be used by anyone looking for advice throughout their career. Whether you are planning a career change or deciding on your education pathway.

The National Careers Week website has plenty of helpful information. You can speak to a careers advisor for personalised support. Equally, you can take an assessment to find out your skills. This will then give you a list of suitable career options. 

Why you should consider an apprenticeship this National Careers Week

There are a variety of career development opportunities out there. During your search, you will come across universities, training courses and entry-level jobs. But, apprenticeships are also an option. As a development tool, apprenticeships are unique.

With an apprenticeship, you gain a qualification while taking on a full-time job. You can upskill or kickstart your career with an apprenticeship. Either way, there are lots of benefits associated with apprenticeships. But, here are five reasons why you should consider an apprenticeship this National Careers Week.

Workplace experience

Nowadays, you often need experience for entry-level positions. But, if you have studied at university, finding the time to do this is not always possible. That leaves you in a tricky situation. You want to get a recognised qualification, while also gaining industry experience. Well, that’s where apprenticeships come in. 

With apprenticeships, you can gain real-time experience working in a professional environment. This experience is hard to mimic by taking a university degree. Also, degrees can take three years or longer. This adds the risk of the content being outdated by the time you are ready to apply it. Whereas, an apprenticeship will allow you to apply what you learn straight away. 

You will speed up your development by contributing towards projects. But, even being around the workplace will provide you with learning opportunities. Here, you will have a chance to talk and collaborate with those who are more experienced than you. 

Off-the-job training 

Apprenticeships combine workplace experience with off-the-job training. This ensures apprentices gain the necessary knowledge to develop in their roles. Understandably, some people prefer to only concentrate on their learning. After all, balancing a qualification with work is challenging. This is when a university degree might be more suitable. But, you might want to speed up your progression. And this is where apprenticeships provide you with everything you need.  

Apprentices receive a minimum of six hours of off-the-job training each week. There's flexibility with where and when the training takes place. It doesn’t have to take place at college or outside the workplace. Instead, training can be done in an online format. And the hours don’t have to be taken on a specific day each week. They can be taken throughout the week at a time that’s convenient for the provider, employer and apprentice. 

Paid a salary 

It’s a common misconception that apprenticeships aren’t real jobs, so they are poorly paid. But, the reality is quite the opposite. Apprenticeships are real jobs with important responsibilities. 

The current minimum apprenticeship wage is £4.81. This is set by the government and gets reviewed every April. It’s usually increased every year, along with all the other national minimum wages. But, even for a junior experience level, this number still seems low. Well, that’s because it is, especially when you compare it to the cost of living. But, the apprenticeship funding doesn’t only go towards your pay. It also covers the training costs, licenses and exam fees. 

 If you are looking at apprenticeships this National Careers Week, don't let this figure put you off.  A lot of companies realise the value of apprenticeships. So, they pay their apprentices closer to the national living wage. This is to attract the most talented candidates. An apprenticeship salary might start low. But, as you gain more skills and experience, your earning potential will soon increase. 

Varying apprenticeship levels 

Apprenticeships come in a variety of different levels. Level 2 is the lowest apprenticeship level you can do. You might hear this referred to as intermediate level, which is equal to 5 GCSE passes. There are Level 3, advanced apprenticeships, which are the same as A-Levels. Finally, there are higher and degree apprenticeships, ranging from Levels 4 to 7. 

Apprenticeships provide you with a great opportunity to progress in your chosen career. You might take on an apprenticeship as a school leaver without any experience. In this scenario, you can expect to start with a level 2 qualification. 

Once you have finished your apprenticeship you can move up to the next level. Or you can take a break from taking qualifications and enjoy working. The apprenticeship levels system is a ladder of opportunity. It will be there for you as a reliable progression tool throughout your career. 

Wide range of roles

There’s a misconception that you can only do trade and construction apprenticeships. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Apprenticeships are being made use of by an increasing number of companies. And of course, these vacancies can be found in almost any industry and role. 

In fact, there are over 600 apprenticeship standards. That means no matter what your interest is, there will be something out there for you. Some of the more popular apprenticeships are sales and leadership and management apprenticeships. As you develop your skills, these qualifications allow you to boost your career prospects.

Digital apprenticeships are also becoming more popular. Many companies have an over-reliance on technology. So, there’s a need for talented individuals to future-proof businesses. 

By filling a company’s skills gap, you will be providing long-term value. That means pursuing a digital career will put you in a strong position. 

Do you want to be proactive and kickstart your career this National Careers Week? If you do then an apprenticeship might be the right choice for you. At Pareto, we recognise the importance of helping apprentices become highly skilled employees. We provide digital, sales and leadership and management apprenticeships. If this interests you then head over to our apprenticeships page for more information. 

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