What is an Apprenticeship
‘Apprenticeship’ may mean a different thing for one person to another, as there are many stereotypes that the word carries.
Below aims to give a simple guide to 'What is an Apprenticeship'
Put simply, an Apprenticeship is the position of an apprentice.
An Apprentice is defined in the dictionary as follows:
‘A person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer, having agreed to work for a fixed period at low wages’.
However this definition can be misleading, as it seems to imply that an Apprentice is only able to complete an Apprenticeship within a practical setting.
Traditional Versus Modern
Traditional Apprenticeships did involve learning a craft with a skilled practitioner.
However modern Apprenticeships allow someone to develop an academic qualification whilst being trained in a profession.
As an Apprentice, you can expect to:
- Work alongside experienced staff who will help train you in the role
- Gain job specific skills
- Earn a wage and get holiday pay
- Get time to study – ‘off-the-job training’
There are two different apprenticeship routes
Perhaps the most common and more well-known route is someone leaving school and going straight into an Apprenticeship.
Typically 16-18 years old, these candidates will gain entry into the workplace, usually for the first time.
Apprenticeships have become a popular alternative to college and/or university, mainly because it avoids the individual having to pay high fees, but also because a lot of school leavers don’t see themselves in a classroom environment in order for them to progress.
Perhaps they prefer the idea of working and gaining more practical experience.
This is where an Apprenticeship really appeals because whilst they will still be classed as in education, they are in the workplace gaining ‘real life’ experience in an office environment, working towards a qualification and therefore gaining a wage each week.
Up-skilling Within The Workplace
The second Apprenticeship route is where a current employee within your company completes an Apprenticeship.
The idea of this can seem unusual to many as it’s drilled into us that an Apprentice is a young person.
However, with Apprenticeship qualifications in:
- Financial Services
- Team Leading
- Project Management
Many companies are choosing to put their employees onto an Apprenticeship in order to up-skill and develop staff.
Essentially, the term ‘Apprenticeship’ should just be considered as a word.
What the member of staff will really be doing is a highly intensive training programme in order to gain a nationally recognised qualification.
In conclusion, depending on where you are in your professional career, an Apprenticeship can mean one of two things.
This can be a stepping stone into a career, enabling you to carry on your education whilst in a working environment.
On the other hand it could be the opportunity for you to develop in your current role and enables you to gain a qualification without taking time off or going on a sabbatical.