Apprenticeships offer people the opportunity to earn money while studying for an industry-recognised qualification, and get real-life work experience along the way without restricting future study options.
Many Apprenticeships offer a degree level option within that subject area, but you can also go on to study at University through a traditional University degree after completing an Apprenticeship. A recent survey (Graduates in the UK Labour Market 2013) found that "On average, graduates aged 21 earned a lower gross annual wage than 21 year olds who left education with an Apprenticeship."
Another (LEVELS OF SUCCESS The potential of UK apprenticeships; Improving social mobility through education) also states that "Higher Apprentices at level 5 result in greater lifetime earnings than undergraduate degrees from non-Russell group Universities."
We spoke to two Apprentices to find out what they think are the best things about being an Apprentice. Here's what they had to say:
Oliver Broughton, Engineering Apprentice at UK Mobile Media:
"I'm getting hands-on experience, which you don't get at school or College. I already have A-levels, but I'd say an Apprenticeship is better because you get to see the effects of what you're doing."
Rosie Stride, Business Administration Apprentice at Prysmian Cables:
"Compared to University courses, I get to go into a real business and work with real people in a real situation. Being able to work, earn and learn at the same time is brilliant; you're not just in a classroom, you're thrown into the deep end a bit and shown how a business actually works."