This feature was written by Hafsa Ikram while on work experience with Go Think Big.

Apprenticeships are an extreeeemely hot topic right now, but do we all really know what they mean and how they can benefit us? We’re not so sure.

So we decided to do a little digging to discover what apprenticeships actually are, the different levels of qualifications on offer, and why people should start applying for them right away.

So, what actually is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a real job in a company, which gives you the chance to earn money and gain training for a nationally recognised qualification at the same time. They’re great, because they let you kick start your career with well-known and prestigious companies.

The different levels of an apprenticeship cover from level 2 to level 7, with level 2 equal to getting 5 GCSEs.

What most people don’t know is that anyone (yes anyone!) over the age of 16 can apply for an apprenticeship.

Why should you do an apprenticeship? Here’s 8 reasons…

  • It’s a great way to kick start your career
  • You can earn while you learn
  • You can access loads of exclusive opportunities
  • It helps you to build the employability skills you don’t learn at school
  • You can get a big company name on your CV
  • There’s no debt or cost involved (unlike uni courses)
  • There are lots of networking opportunities and it can help you to build up your contacts
  • It gives you a taster of an industry and whether that career is the right choice for you

How does an apprenticeship qualification compare to a degree or GCSE results?

The sad reality is, figures show four in ten UK graduates struggle to find work. This can be due to things like not having the right skills, experience or expertise in their chosen field. So, many young people are now choosing to do apprenticeships rather than traditional qualifications, as a way to get on the right track.

If you’re confused about what apprenticeship levels actually mean, or how many people are involved, take a look at our apprenticeship infographic below…


So how can Go Think Big help you?

Starting to think apprenticeships are the right thing for you? Great! There are loads of apprenticeship opportunities and advice live on our website, offering you the chance to work with award-winning companies.

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