Is studying and earning at the same time the way forward post-Covid?
By Matt Hall | 25th August 2020
A Gloucestershire firm is among apprenticeship companies hoping for a surge in interest as GCSE with A-level results published.
Although university applications are up, Cirencester-based Apprenticeship Management Group believes doing an apprenticeship is viewed as a good way to weather the coronavirus downturn.
With the university experience subdued due to COVID-19 regulations, director John Henry said an apprenticeship offers interaction at both the workplace and the place of learning.
And with apprentices recruited throughout the year, if university is no longer the favoured option, being paid to start a vocational course will seem to many like the best option.
Mr Henry said: "Apprenticeships and employment in general have certainly hit the buffers since the virus forced businesses to postpone their operations.
"As we return to some form of normality however, recruitment is expected to increase."
With the array of incentives ranging from £2,000-£6,800 for employers to engage with an apprentice or kickstart employee, he thinks the window of opportunity for both employers and those looking for a good career has never been so well supported.
He added: "There are various ways to access apprenticeships.
"There is Intermediate that post-GCSE students could start at, Advanced which is the equivalent of two A-levels, Higher - which is a foundation degree - and a degree apprenticeship, the equivalent to a bachelors or masters degree."
Degree apprenticeships are potentially the best of both worlds as you can get a full degree and earn money at the same time.
Apprentices are employed throughout the training and spend part of their time at university, a minimum of 20 per cent, and the rest with the employer.
The Apprenticeship Management Group offers its services to businesses of all sizes, looking after the apprenticeship training programmes and apprenticeship levy for the Electrical Distributors Association, Builders Merchants Federation, British Coating Federation, FIESTA (Furniture and Interiors, Skills and Training Alliance) and water and other utility companies.
Mr Henry said apprenticeships are picking up again post lockdown with companies looking for new employees and offering dedicated training.
He said: "Apprenticeships are routinely bypassed as a way to start in a field in further of full-time further education but are able to offer the same qualification, including degrees, without the legacy of a huge student loan."
"One of the advantages of an apprenticeship is that the individual will develops their relationship within the sector of choice and build a reputation within the working environment. They understand more about the workplace and what to expect, as opposed to going in cold after A-levels or a three to four-year traditional degree."
Mr Henry urges undecided young people: "If you have an industry you would like to work in you can now earn, learn and advance your career at the same time."
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