Friday, September 6, 2013, AM | 3 Comments
It’s worth considering the many benefits of an apprenticeship, which offers you the chance to get paid while you’re learning. Apprenticeships offer work based learning courses where you combine a weekly set of hours with a business and a training course, with the goal of building towards a full qualification.
Doing so can represent an excellent way to get yourself established within an industry, with many different placements available for apprenticeships in Essex and beyond.
Apprenticeships effectively work as a way of diversifying employment and training opportunities for those aged 16-19, but are also available to anyone who wants specialist training. Funding is only available, though, up to the age of 24, after which you’ll have to pay for your own course training. The government support business apprenticeships, which can cover everything from business management to food retail and cookery, as well as many more courses in between.
When taking an apprenticeship, you can opt for different levels, which range from Intermediate Apprenticeships that provide you with a Level 2 competence in an industry, and also cover basic skills, through to Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships.
All of these courses are covered by NVQ and QCF frameworks, and balance out experience in a job with coursework and exams. Minimum competencies in English and Mathematics also have to be demonstrated before starting most courses, while IT skills are also typically covered by different apprenticeships.
Depending on the employer and the industrial sector you choose, apprenticeships can run from one to four years, with employers expected to provide a minimum of 30 hours paid work a week. The validity of an apprenticeship also has to be covered by an Apprenticeship Agreement, which lays out working terms, as well as the number of credits and qualifications you have to achieve to successfully complete a course.
Again, funding is available for apprenticeships from 16 onwards. Those aged 16-18 receive 100 per cent funding, while those aged 19-24 have to pay 50 per cent of their training courses.
Apprenticeships do, however, involve a National Minimum Wage that is adjusted to take account of training costs, meaning that you earn £2.65 a week. This is to address the amount of time you spend in classes and completing assessments, so consider whether you can practically afford an apprenticeship.
Look into the apprenticeships that are available in your local area. Businesses work with training providers, local colleges, and other venues to allow you to complete courses and work without disruption. Training providers can be found online, and can deliver accredited courses to suit your needs. Most people will complete the theory part of their apprenticeships in local colleges, and can also choose to work on short courses in other skills areas to improve their employability.
Rosette writes about the challenges facing young people in the current UK employment market. She recommends looking into Apprenticeships in Essex if you’re based in the south east of England. Her other blogging interests include ideas for improving HR and job applications.