An apprenticeship is an excellent way of learning the skills and qualifications required to establish a career in your chosen industry, while still earning a salary at the same time.
Recent statistics from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research showed the number of people starting trade and non-trade apprenticeships increased in the three months to September 2014.
Non-trade commencements jumped from 27,400 to 28,800 when compared with the previous quarter, while trade commencements climbed 600 to 21,500. The figures, published in November, are likely to come as good news for employers who are hoping to fill skills gaps within their organisation.
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There are many factors that could influence why people want to pursue an apprenticeship. With the latest quarterly report showing a rise in commencements, we explored some of the most common reasons behind picking vocational education.
1. An alternative to university
Many people do not find university an appealing option, and apprenticeships are open to those who do not have a secondary school certificate or other qualifications.
In fact, school-based apprenticeships offer teenagers in Year 11 and 12 an early start on a specific career path, enabling them to gain a nationally recognised qualification and develop important skills.
2. Re-entering the workforce
Career breaks can occur for a number of reasons, whether it’s a long-term illness, bringing up children or travelling the world.
Upon returning, people may find their existing qualifications and experience are outdated or insufficient to secure their ideal job. An apprenticeship provides you with the opportunity to upskill without sacrificing a living wage.
This is particularly important for people who need to support their family financially while they obtain the qualifications they require to find work in their industry.
3. Career change
Pursuing your dream job is a daunting prospect, especially for people who have spent many years forging a career in a different industry.
However, once the decision has been made, there are plenty of apprenticeship options that can help you make the switch as painlessly as possible.
Part-time courses enable you to train for a new career while still working in your current role, provided you work a minimum of 15 hours a week as an apprentice.