Apprenticeships, up until relatively recently, had become something of a dying breed. The emphasis was firmly on university education followed by professional or on-the-job training. However there seems to have been something of a turning of the tide over the last few years and now apprenticeships seem to be becoming a much more popular route to training and/or on the job learning for large numbers of young people.
Recent research from ICM commissioned by the BIS, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills, tells an interesting story regarding the rise of apprenticeship schemes with over half the people questioned saying they would opt for an apprenticeship if they could choose one. These statistics rose even higher to around 66% of people questioned who were employed but were not receiving any formal training and around 56% of people who were already studying at university saying they would opt for an apprenticeship if they could.
Matthew Hancock, the Skills Minister, recently commented that this is now becoming a far more common route for school leavers. Some of these studies almost suggest that the value of a degree is diminishing at the graduate entry level in the employment market. Could this be as employers see more apprentices coming through the ranks with better, more employable skills at their finger tips?
The results from a number of other studies carried out earlier in 2013 showed the growing respect amongst employers for people emerging from the apprenticeship route. The research cited that employers found these young people to be 15% more employable than those with other qualifications. Those with Higher Apprenticeships were thought to be the most employable of all – even above those with degrees in some instances.
With over 40 additional Higher Apprenticeships being introduced over the coming year, the diversity of subjects is increasing meaning that people can enter into areas such as law or even space engineering.
In the last year the National Apprenticeship Service has seen a record number of applications and currently reports it has around 17,000 places available on line right now. They are becoming the perfect training ground for young talent in the widest range of industries and providing a “win win” solution with both the employers and apprentices gaining fantastic experience from the schemes.