Daniel Gardner was an aspirational 20 year old, with clear leadership ability, working in the café at his local Morrison’s. He’d finished his education at one of the toughest schools in Malvern, designated An Area of Outstanding Beauty but none-the-less a sleepy backwater, and was lucky to have a job serving tea to pensioners and other loyal supermarket customers. But this wasn’t Daniel’s calling. We’ll come back to Daniel later.
At the heart of the Transport Infrastructure Skills Strategy is an ambition to create 30,000 new apprenticeships in response to a significant skills gap and growing demand for a workforce that can service the huge government investment in transport infrastructure projects in the UK.
GCSE Results Day has arrived. On August 25, thousands of students across the country, will be considering their options for the future.
Although A-levels remain the traditional route taken for post-16 education, there are several alternatives that students can consider. Here is our guide to apprenticeships, BTECs, NVQs, and traineeships.
What is an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships combine study with practical training on the job, and provide an excellent alternative to A-levels.
Headteachers are to ask the government to tackle staffing shortages by approving the first apprenticeship for teachers.
The scheme would allow A-level students to join the profession without going to university. It is being proposed by the Teaching Schools Council, which believes that a teaching apprenticeshipcould play a crucial role in attracting people from less affluent backgrounds into the profession.
Teaching Schools Council member Stephen Munday told TES that it was hoped the apprenticeship could help schools in more disadvantaged areas to recruit staff.
When finishing A-levels, many young people think the only option is to go to university to study for a degree. But for some, the sheer scale of tuition fees and living costs is a disincentive, when compared to the perceived benefit of having a degree.
Put simply, they feel they cannot justify the expense of a three-year full-time course when there is a risk there will be no job at the end of it.
But there is another way. Regardless of grades, there is the option of studying for a degree or higher level qualification at an FE college. College HE is often better value for money, as the provision is available in the local community and travel and accommodation expenses are significantly reduced. Plus it can be more flexible, with options to study part-time for those already in a full-time job.
A new report has claimed that apprentices can earn up to 270% more over their careers than university grads.
The report, Productivity and Lifetime Earnings of Apprentices and Graduates, was jointly released by Barclays and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
It revealed that the average gap in lifetime earnings potential between apprentices and graduates was just 1.8%, with the average lifetime earning premium (LEP) difference for the two study paths at just £2,200.
The report also rebutted a range of common misconceptions about apprenticeships, including that they are only relevant for those looking for careers in vocational or manual industries – business, administration and law accounted for the most apprenticeship starts in 2014/15 (29%), closely followed by health, public services and care (26%).
Last month, it was announced by Ucas that the number of students enrolling for A-levels was set to increase by 4,000 with a commensurate decline in those enrolled for vocational courses.
In the view of Mary Curnock Cook, the Ucas chief executive: “It’s now a good decision to take A-levels even if you are not an A* student”.
She justified her view by arguing that: “… choosing A-levels means teenagers can keep their options open without having to fix a career path so early in life, whereas those choosing vocational qualifications such as sports science or health and social care (she was careful in the examples she chose!) are more likely to go into those fields, closing their options rather early in life.”
She concluded her argument by stating that: “sticking to academic qualifications doesn’t close any doors, regardless of whether you want to apply for a top apprenticeship or a top university.”
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WE NEED apprenticeships that let students study and work at the same time. They not only get students ready for the workforce, they also let businesses shape what students are learning, so that they graduate with skills that are immediately relevant to their industries.
But to keep such apprenticeships going, companies must be willing to put money in them. If they don’t, it’s up to the G to persuade them such programmes are worthwhile investments.
So for now, the G is working with universities and selected companies to launch pilots of these work-study apprenticeships. These plans were revealed by Acting Minister of Education Ong Ye Kung in an interview with The Straits Times on Monday (May 16), who added that in the 21st century, “businesses do not just offer internships, but step into the university to shape the curriculum”. In his interview, the minister also touched on the educational aspirations of Singaporeans, and his vision for the SkillsFuture movement.
The launch of the Government’s new Get In Go Far advertising campaign for apprenticeships is a very welcome initiative, for both professional and personal reasons.
Growing the numbers of apprenticeships in this country is an issue close to my heart. I remember when hiring staff in my own business, the most important thing I looked for on a CV was experience, not just paper qualifications. Being able to see the knowledge and expertise a young person has gained from learning on the job can really help a business find the right candidate for the role.
It’s why I was honoured to be appointed the Apprenticeship Adviser for David Cameron as well as co-chair of the Apprenticeship Delivery Board last year. The Get In Go Far campaign will be key to helping raise awareness of the value of apprenticeships; inspire more young people to consider it as a valid, credible route to getting a great career, and encourage more businesses to hire apprentices.
Being an apprentice has never been more exciting! An opportunity to EARN & LEARN at the same time. To work alongside an experienced mentor showing you the ropes whilst gaining insightful knowledge!
Creating 3 million apprenticeships is at the heart of the Government’s commitment to ensure young people have the skills that employers are crying out for. Apprenticeships will give young people real, hands-on experience that can help change lives, reduce long-term youth unemployment and help our economy thrive.
Get In. Go Far, is a new government campaign that will launch shortly which is designed to inspire young people to consider apprenticeships as a valid and credible route to a rewarding career. Its aim is to inform and inspire young people, parents, teachers and employers about the range of opportunities available with apprenticeships and the quality of the employers who offer them.
Help us and the government in raising awareness to reach all 16-23 year olds in England, as well as their parents, teachers, and mentors!
Apprenticeships have enjoyed a fair share of the limelight so far this year. Not only did March’s National Apprenticeship Week take place soon after the increase in the apprentice wage rate and forthcoming introduction of the apprenticeship levy, but also in the wake of the Government announcing its aim to fund some three million new apprenticeships by 2020, which the levy will help to fund. There’s been a positive start on that front, with participation in apprenticeship schemes up to a record 871,000 during the 2014/15 tax year.
But if apprenticeships are going to hit such heady heights in the future, they are undoubtedly going to need the support of small and medium-sized enterprises, who make up well in excess of 99% of all UK businesses. Many of those companies are already realising the benefits of having apprentices on board, with our latest research showing that two in five (39%) of those SMEs with at least ten employees in place took on at least one new apprentice in the past twelve months. That figure falls, however, to just one in ten (10%) of companies that have less than ten employees, demonstrating how those smallest businesses may have greater time and resource constraints when it comes to introducing an effective apprenticeship scheme.