In an apprenticeship young people are employed and follow a particular training programme aimed at equipping them with the skills, knowledge and qualifications required to do their job. Apprentices spend the vast majority of their time learning in the workplace with occasional outside input or training elsewhere.
A wide variety of occupational areas are covered by apprenticeships at different levels. Students who have completed A Level and BTEC courses usually aim to progress onto Advanced or Higher Apprenticeships. Higher Apprenticeships give degree level qualifications and can be delivered by universities but student still spend the majority of their time in the workplace.
The range of apprenticeships available depends on the kinds of employers who require skilled workers in any geographical area at any time. There has been an increase in both the number and range of apprenticeship opportunities available in Greater Manchester in recent years. New kinds of apprenticeships have recently been developed to fill skills gaps eg Marketing Through Social Media and Legal Executive Higher Apprenticeships. As with any jobs, salaries vary but the national average wage for an apprenticeship is £170. National Minimum Wage Information
Apprenticeships must last a minimum of 12 months but some programmes run for 3 years or more. On completion of an apprenticeship, the employee would often continue to work for the same company. In fact some companies outline a range of possible progression routes from the start. Once fully qualified in their particular job, an employee would be able to apply for suitable opportunities with other employers if they wish.
There are several larger employers who offer excellent employment opportunities with a training programme aimed at young people but they don’t always use the word ‘apprenticeship’ in the title.
Many employers advertise vacancies through their own websites. There is a central vacancy service Government Apprenticeship Search Website and potential applicants can register for updates here. A similar website UCAS apprenticeships search has just gone online.
For an archive of apprenticeship opportunities, see The Careers Blog
For more general information on apprenticeships, see National Careers Service Apprenticeships .
For information on the changing job market in Greater Manchester see Careerpoint.
Some students who have worked part time while studying will continue in those jobs either alongside university study or taking on more hours to move into long term full time employment particularly in retail or hospitality. There can be opportunities to progress to more senior roles and larger companies often have set progression pathways. It’s always worth checking the company website or asking about possible opportunities at work.
Some students will work as part of a planned gap year to ‘do something useful while they figure out what else to do’ or to gain relevant experience eg in a caring role with a view to applying to study nursing.
We have also had several entrepreneurs who have been self-employed in retail/design, photography, fine art or worked freelance in theatre. In industries where short term contracts or being freelance is the norm, it’s probably never too soon to start. Self-Employment Advice
However, students should be aware that many jobs require specific qualifications gained through apprenticeships or further study so if they have an ultimate job goal in mind, they should always research it carefully to make sure they are on an appropriate path National Careers Service Job Profiles.
There are hundreds of job search websites and some are better for specific types of jobs. Look at the National Careers Service Jobs Profiles for advice on where to find specific kinds of vacancies.