Apprenticeships Are For Everyone

07 March 2018 | Apprentices

With career opportunities available from entry to degree level, and more than 170 industry options on offer, Apprenticeships have never been a more attractive proposition for anyone looking to start their careers, upskill or learn a new trade. With a Government target of three million apprentices by 2020, and the Apprenticeship levy now in place, the profile of the work-based learning programme has been raised.

The attraction of earning a wage, while learning on-the-job and gaining qualifications is obvious, but the benefits go far beyond the Apprenticeship itself. After completing their qualifications, 90% of apprentices stay in employment, with seven in ten staying with the same employer and a quarter being promoted within 12 months. On average, individuals with an Advanced Apprenticeship earn between £77,000 and £117,000 more in their lifetime than others with level 2 qualifications; this figure increases to £150,000 for those completing a Higher Apprenticeship.

City College Plymouth is one of the largest Apprenticeship providers in the country, with a success rate of 14% above the national average. Working with more than 1,300 local employers, the College’s Apprenticeship programme has been rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Sue Reed, Head of Work-based Learning and Schools Partnerships at City College, said: “Many apprentices are school leavers and young people, but there is no age limit for those interested in completing an apprenticeship. This means that high-quality Apprenticeships are now accessible to those who are looking to retrain in a new field at a later stage of their working lives.

“Apprenticeships are well-supported by the Government and there has been an increased investment in skills, which can only be good for our city’s growing economy. It’s important that young people are aware of Apprenticeships as one of their post-16 options, but also that adults take note that they can use an Apprenticeship as a way of changing their own career path.

“Apprenticeships benefit all involved, from the businesses that use them to grow or develop their teams, to the wider community which sees people of all ages engaged in learning whilst earning a wage.”

Rhianne Walkey, 22, is a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship at City College. She went down the ‘traditional’ educational route, completing her A Levels and going on to university-level study, however, she felt just as unsure of her future at 21 as she did at 16.

“I am six months into my Apprenticeship and I love it. I have been thrown in at the deep end, but I am enjoying the challenge and the fast and reactive pace of the job. No two days are the same and I often find myself out and about as I create content for the College’s various social media platforms. I have already gained experience in different aspects of marketing and I get the opportunity to use my creative skills.

“Apprenticeships allow you to gain skills whilst getting vital experience in the workplace. I have been able to work with loads of different people and draw upon their expertise to improve my own understanding of my trade.

“As someone who has started an Apprenticeship later in life, I feel I’m finally where I am supposed to be. Before, I felt like I was going through the motions and doing what I was told to do, but now with my Apprenticeship I am taking ownership of my own learning. Vocational pathways are for everyone – I would highly recommend them to anyone of any age if you are looking to start a new trade or try something different.”

Those interested in becoming an apprentice, or employing one, can discover the opportunities on offer at City College’s Course Information Drop-in event on Wednesday 7 March, from 4.30 to 6.30pm at Kings Road. For information, visit, e-mail or call 01752 305300.

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