Apprenticeships are proven to be a winning formula. The government are really keen to get more companies offering apprenticeships as it helps create skilled workers who can gain their qualification while on the job (the official definition is “work-based training”.)
For the young people concerned, it means that they don’t rack up the university debt, and manage to skip out on the catch-22 situation of ‘no job without previous work experience, no previous work experience thanks to no job history’ (and not being able to afford to work for free).
“Get in, go far” is the official slogan of National Apprenticeship Week 2015 – and we suggest you do just that.
National Apprentice Week – the history
A little background on National Apprenticeship Week 2015: this is the eighth year it’s been celebrated, after the government set up the National Apprenticeship Service in 2008.
Check out this year’s toolkit from the NAS: Apprentices and former apprentices toolkit: The sky’s the limit.
What is an apprenticeship?
- Apprentices are employees who are paid a wage and receive holiday pay.
- Apprenticeships normally last around a year, and provide a nationally-recognised qualification, through a mixture of work for their job and study towards their qualification (usually one day a week).
- Employment should be for at least 30 hours a week, or a minimum of 16 hours a week if the apprentice is unable to complete 30.
- Training for 16-18 year old apprentices is fully funded by the government. 19-24 year old apprentices qualify for 50% of training costs covered, and up to 50% cover for over 25s.
- The Apprentice Minimum Wage (at time of publishing, for 16-18 year olds) is £2.68. As they are employees, there is no maximum salary limit, so some apprentices can benefit from a salary that hits or exceeds National Minimum Wage.
The stats breakdown
Apprenticeships are available at varying levels in over 1500 job roles, and over 200,000 workplaces in England offer apprenticeships.
Last year, nearly half a million people started an apprenticeship.
The majority of apprentices (36%) last year fell in the 19-24 age bracket. However, apprentices came in at all ages from 16 to over 60, with 37% of apprentices aged 25 and over.
Since 2008, the most popular apprenticeships have been in Business, Administration and Law, with Health, Public Services and Care coming in second place.
Apprentices make businesses money. These stats from 2012-2013 estimated the annual training costs of a Team Leadership and Management apprentice at £4,760. Their produced economic output for the business was valued at £33,138.
What can an apprenticeship lead to?
First and foremost, plenty of companies hire their apprentices once the apprenticeship is over – meaning they’ve gained an experienced and qualified employee, with costs and effort that are comparable to the recruitment process of an external hire (who doesn’t know the business).
Apprenticeships lead to workers who have tangible skills and are better equipped to be contributing members to society – regardless of whether they remained in their industry field indefinitely or not. Just ask the guys on this list: the top 40 richest former apprentices (including Jamie Oliver, David Beckham, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton).
How can I start an apprenticeship programme for my small business?
Head to this link – Build an apprenticeship programme: Small to medium sized employers.
It’s the government’s official online guide that has condensed all the information and outlined the steps to take. There’s even a video from one SME whose apprenticeship programme has helped build their company into a large, loyal workforce.
And that’s it – remember, Get in, go far.