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Reasons why apprenticeships are becoming fashionable again

It would be fair to say that apprenticeships once died out of fashion; they were regarded as a 'last resort' by some quarters. Now, the situation has turned on its head and apprenticeships are regarded as one of the most effective ways for students to jump on the career ladder.

Of course, to turn around this reputation, some changes have had to be made. The government has undoubtedly made them more attractive, and this has fueled the immense growth within them. The likes of City And Guilds Apprenticeships have also added a degree of credibility to the field and just enhanced the reputation-factor some more.

Following on from this, here is a summary on why apprenticeships are increasing in popularity.

Employers now realize how attractive apprenticeships really are

This is perhaps the biggest development in the field. At one time, employers might have been somewhat wary of apprenticeships, but such preconceptions have now been put to bed.

A lot of this is down to some of the reports that have been conducted in relation to apprenticeships. In 2015, one report found that the average apprentice would boost their business by £214 per week. Clearly, for those employers who only view bottom line stats, this is significant.

They are financially attractive

It would be incorrect to compare apprenticeships to a first job with a starting salary - but few would disagree that this is a long-term process. It means that students tend to accept the lower initial earnings.

However, these "lower" earnings have become much higher over time. The government is regularly reviewing the costs and as of October 2016 the levels increased again. It meant that anyone under 19 would be bringing in £3.40 an hour, with this increasing to £6.95 for anyone over 21. Clearly, considering the on-the-job learning benefits, this is a huge benefit.

It's also worth mentioning that the apprentice wages increased on two occasions during 2016, which again highlights the financially attractive-factor.

You are treated like a standard employee with holidays

Once upon a time there may have been a stigma with apprentices; they weren’t always seen as “real” workers. Now, the benefits are almost comparable. In relation to paid holidays, you will accumulate the same as a regular employee and this means that you should legally receive at least twenty days per year.

As well as this, some employers will permit study leave, which can just add to the “benefits package”.

The career-factor

In truth, this isn’t really a new benefit. However, it’s something that has always been an advantage of an apprenticeship scheme and the point should still be emphasized.

In short, apprentices have a wealth of options available to them once they conclude their placement. Some will opt to stay with their current employer, but all of the industry experience can count significantly and allow them to transfer to much more lucrative jobs.

This is why some people may compare them favorably to degrees. While a degree might provide all of the necessary academic material, in terms of practical experience few things will beat an apprenticeship and this will sit extremely well with potential employers.

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