Designing a Better Path to Apprenticeships

Designing a Better Path to Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships and University never seem to be on the same level. It seems that the University somehow manages to weight a bit more and creates a real confusion among young people. Young people need to be aware of their options and be willing to take advantage of the world full of opportunities.

The idea of apprenticeships for some reason doesn’t seem to be very popular nowadays, which is a real pity as it can open new horizons. Seeing this unfavorable situation we have set up a one year paid graduate placement in order to help the design graduates get the so needed work experience once they finish school.  We are very happy with the way things have unfold, but looking at this from another perspective it got us thinking whether people are aware of the benefits of the apprenticeships. Is designing a better path to apprenticeships even an option today?

By speaking with one apprentice we were able to see things from another angle. This person, who we spoke to, said that being an apprentice is probably one of the best things that has even happen to him. He was never doing too well in his AS exams and he never felt ready for the real world. He loved the work he did with the computer and he enjoyed making websites, which is exactly how he got the apprenticeship. Now he is living his dream! At the age of 17 he has a very good income and works on projects that he never dreamed on working. The interesting part is that as many young people, he had no idea about the option for applying for apprenticeship and that he can find something connected to his field of interest.

How do schools see apprenticeships?

Young people seldom decide to apply for apprenticeships simply because they don’t know it exists. Schools don’t seem to offer them that option, so how would they know if they really have it. Instead schools would offer A-Levels and University; but what about the apprenticeships? Why do they avoid this?

The problem is that going to A-Levels and University seems easier than trying to get apprenticeship. The idea that getting the apprenticeship is mission impossible discourages people to see what they have been offered.

Of course schools also don’t like their best students to leave the school, as they would rather have them go at University and follow the usual path. We can’t deny that for some industries the University degree is crucial, but for some it might be better if people focus more on the practical part.

What do businesses think about apprenticeships?

Schools are not the only ones to blame here. Both small and big business should be more involved in this issue and do something to offer new opportunities to the young population. It’s not that difficult. A simple visit to the school, a word or two about the possibility for apprenticeship and the work is done. If the young population is informed, they have the option to choose.

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