YOU’RE hired . . . to be the boss.
National Apprenticeship Week starts on Monday, with jobseekers urged to consider the “earn as you learn” schemes.
Apprenticeships have often been seen as providing entry-level jobs for school leavers but things are changing fast.
“Degree apprenticeships” give you a university degree while you work.
A Level 6 is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree and Level 7 a Masters. A higher-level apprenticeship can even offer a fast-track into management.
Skills minister Gillian Keegan says: “From cyber security to pharmacy, a huge range of apprenticeships are available for anyone at any age, whether you are looking to launch your career or progress in your current role.
“My own apprenticeship kicked off an exciting career journey, so I know first-hand the life-changing impact an apprenticeship can have.
“I’d urge anyone interested to find out more and explore where an apprenticeship could take you”.
So whether you are leaving school, out of work or want to change career, here is Sunemployment’s pick of the apprenticeships to fast-track you to the top.
‘I wish I’d considered an apprenticeship sooner’
KATHRYN Carmody was at university, but decided it wasn’t for her and took a job at her local M&S.
She loved it so much she applied for the M&S Retail Management School Leaver Programme, starting in September 2019.
She takes her final exams in March. Kathryn, 27, from Chepstow, says: “I haven’t looked back. It’s been fantastic to progress from Customer Assistant through to Commercial Manager.
“I wish I’d considered an apprenticeship sooner.”
On your marks, get set!
- MARKS & SPENCER has 30 places up for grabs on its retail management school-leaver programme. The scheme sets up trainees to be managers with a Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship certification. Applicants must have A-levels or equivalent. Apply by February 17 at jobs.marksandspencer.com/early-careers.
- TRAVIS PERKINS GROUP offers a range of courses from branch counter to boardroom. Its management programme apprenticeships can study towards a diploma with the Chartered Management Institute. Apply at tpplccareers.co.uk/apprenticeships.
- SPECSAVERS has 70 apprenticeship vacancies. Training lasts three or four years for degree-level apprenticeships. Apply at jobs.specsavers.co.uk/apprenticeship.
- MORRISONS wants 85 school leavers for its degree apprenticeship programmes. There are roles in manufacturing, logistics and more. Apply now at morrisons.jobs/early-careers/degree-apprenticeships.
No need to stop studies
LOCKDOWN has been hard on apprentices too.
Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, shares her top tips on coping.
- Apprenticeships are still available. Looking to enrol? Search at gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship. There are opportunities in more than 500 sectors nationwide.
- Ask for help. Your manager might not be sitting next to you but you can talk on the phone or by video. Your boss, employer and training provider all have a responsibility to support you.
- Most providers have made training available online. Get on their websites and carry on learning new skills.
- You can still finish your apprenticeship. Remote assessment means you can complete your course. Speak to your training provider if you have any questions.
- Make the most of other apprentices close to you. If you are one of a number of apprentices at your company, support each other. Create an apprentice group chat on which you can talk informally about work and any areas where you are stuck.
- Need additional support? Give the National Apprenticeship Service helpline a call, 0800 015 0400.
Show your drive
SET the route to your future with a bus driver apprenticeship.
Drivers have worked throughout the pandemic and transport provider Go-Ahead London is recruiting 700 trainees this year.
Applicants must be 18-plus and hold a valid driving licence. You will be supported in gaining maths and English qualifications if you don’t have them.
Former charity worker Koli Begum, 38, has a child who uses a wheelchair and wanted to help other people with mobility needs.
Koli said: “Joining Go-Ahead let me be part of that critical support network. I’m proud to be helping provide services that meet the accessibility needs of all Londoners.”
INSURANCE firm AVIVA has vacancies for 56 apprentices in software development, project management, technology infrastructure and more.
Apply by February 26 at careers.aviva.co.uk.
START your apprenticeship with a smile.
Work-life balance specialists workl.co analysed thousands of courses in search of the UK’s happiest apprentices.
Gadget maker Blackberry topped the list, with 95 per cent of its trainees satisfied with life at the company.
That was followed, on 94 per cent, by car giant Mercedes Benz and hotel chain Park Plaza.
Yorkshire Water and Holiday Inn Express also polled well.
Workl.co founder Lord Price said: “A happy apprenticeship puts you in good stead for a career both at the company and within the industry. You’re more engaged so are more motivated and more productive.
“It’s beneficial both for the apprentice and the business.”
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