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The New Age of The Apprenticeship

01 August 2019 By Andrew Shaw


University may still be a goal for many, but apprenticeships can provide real-world experience that is becoming increasingly important in a rapidly evolving world of work. 

Apprenticeships have been around almost as long as people have And, in many traditional industries, they represented a clear path to a future career. But, as time passed, they somehow became less popular, less celebrated than a bright and shiny degree from a ‘good’ university. Today, this age-old way of learning is on the rise as employers see the benefit of on-the-job experience and the potential to mould young minds into valuable employees. While young people embrace a path that allows them to learn as they go and doesn’t leave them weighed down with significant debt. Could the new age of the apprenticeship be here to stay? We take a closer look at the benefits of modern apprenticeships and the ways that employers can reach out to young people to bridge the gap between industry and school. 

Working In A Digital World 

We are experiencing a world of work that is moving faster than ever before. The pace of change in tech is staggering and it is impacting every industry. From engineering to healthcare and every sector in-between. This makes it nearly impossible for university or school materials to stay relevant to the ‘real’ world of work. The pace of digital change is too fast. This means that on-the-job training is not only valuable, it’s vital. And one of the reasons that vocational tech careers have exploded. These ‘new collar’ job opportunities, as coined by IBM's CEO, Ginni Rometty, are changing the face of work as we know it. Making vocational jobs an aspiration rather than something to settle for. 

Hands-On Experience 

Employers are increasingly feeling the benefits of on-the-job training that allows them to embed apprentices into their culture and way of working from day one. This not only provides valuable hands-on support and increased productivity; it also allows them to access some of the best raw talent at the very start of their career. With the potential to improve employee retention and satisfaction rates across the board. 

Learn and Earn 

One of the biggest selling points of apprenticeships from the point of view of young people who choose them is the chance to learn and gain qualifications while they earn a wage. As the cost of university spirals, this is a practical benefit that can’t be overlooked. Apprenticeships improve access to important career paths for young people from economically-deprived backgrounds.  

How Do Employers Connect With Young Talent? 

The benefits of apprenticeships are impressive but it’s not always easy for employers and young people to find each other. The pressure is now on organisations to reach out to young people at school and in the community and share their stories. This is a great way for kids to hear from successful professionals who have walked a vocational path and an opportunity for organisations to shout about the benefits they offer. By connecting with young people before they start looking for their next step, employers can help them to think about what they really want from further education.  

Degrees have a huge place in the world of work, and they aren’t going to go away anytime soon. But, perhaps, as we change our perspective on what apprenticeships mean we can start to see beyond the graduate schemes. Beyond the degree and university rankings. To the person and the key skills and attributes that they bring. Maybe it’s time to start looking at apprenticeships and the people that choose them in a new light. 

Whether you’re looking for an experienced professional or someone at the start of their career journey, we can help you to find your talent match. Get in touch to discuss your next talent search.