Apprenticeships, the positive approach

Written by ELBA Employment Team’s Ian Walker

When I think back to my time at school, the focus of every student was evidently clear for all to see, you finish your GCSE’s, complete your A-Levels, then it was off to university. The thought of an apprenticeship was never discussed but it seems that is no longer the case.

In 2018 there was a 32% increase in people taking up an apprenticeship,(48,000) and whilst that is still significantly short of the half a million who opted for the degree option, there is still a strong pull towards learning whilst on the job.

So why would you choose an apprenticeship? We point out a few factors which seem to be the base point in people’s decisions:

  • Earn while you learn – Quite simply, apprentices will have the opportunity to earn a wage whilst they learn their trade and gain a qualification. They are also entitled to all the benefits their full-time colleagues have such as holiday entitlement and pension contributions.
  • Relevant real-world experiences – An apprenticeship is designed to be a structured training and work programme which equips you with the skills and knowledge you need to be successful in the workplace. You’ll gain first hand experience of your chosen profession and industry
  • Strengthen your CV – When it comes to building transferable skills to attract employers, an apprenticeship is an excellent choice.More than 90% of apprentices said that their career prospects had improved, and this is no fluke. With an apprenticeship, you will have gained at least a year in the industry, picking up practical working knowledge and skills that will be attractive to any employer.
  • Progress within the business – If you impress during your apprenticeship, you could also gain a full-time position with the company. To have a foot in the industry at such an early stage in your career is hugely beneficial and could give you the basis to work all the way up to a Managing Director position in the future.

(Information taken from

So, why listen to me? Instead listen to someone who is currently 3 months into their apprenticeship!

Arbnor Aljilji – DevOpps Apprentice with T.Rowe Price

“An apprenticeship for me feels like a solid approach to the goals I have set out career wise. I found a lot of my friends doing a degree never actually had an interest in finding a job in their field of study and ultimately struggled to find employment once they graduated, whereas with my apprenticeship, not only do I gain a level 4 qualification but valuable work experience which prospective future employers will look at.

Currently I’m self-learning Python 3 programming language as I wish to learn, understand and gain new programming skills. As I already have an interest in the finance industry, working as an apprentice within this company would not only give me the skills and knowledge, but would open many doors and offer career stability.”

What’s Next?

Since May 2015, the office for statistics report there were over 2.2 million apprenticeship starts, with 4.5m since 2010 so the stats certainly show there is a consistent rise in people believing the apprenticeship approach is one to consider, however the current global epidemic has certainly had a significant impact as since the lockdown period began in March 2020, there have only been 60,860 apprenticeship starts which is a massive 45.5% decrease compared to the same period in 2018/2019.

With the government’s recent creation of the apprenticeship levy, which is there to help fund the development and delivery of apprenticeships, with the aim of improving the quality and quantity of those available, we will invariably see an increased rise in those offering these opportunities as well as those opting to apply.

What Can We Do?

ELBA’s Employment team are working hard to support our corporate partners recruit fantastic local talent into a multitude of different roles. With our specialised training programmes, we aim to further contribute to making sure those that have been impacted the hardest understand there is help.

If your company is looking into taking on an apprentice or perhaps you have scope to take people on as part of the Kickstart scheme, or if it is simply that you have a vacancy and need the support to find the right person, why not get in touch with us. or 020 7068 6960

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