What are Apprenticeships? This a topic that certainly comes up often and no-one can provide that cutting answer. I don't think I'll be able to provide that answer either, but I'll give my view and insight into what an Apprenticeship involves.
Following the Government's decision to raise the tuition fees from £3,000 to £9,000, companies are offering fantastic apprenticeships. Myself and other young people are left with the idea that University is the only path to take, and it is the path we have to choose. I personally tend to reject this statement, if you look at the likes of Sir Richard Branson and Sir Alan Sugar - both of whom are prime examples of why University isn't a necessity.
The apprenticeships on offer are great opportunities; this is something that really does need to be advertised and promoted to students. These are not in place to say 'do an apprenticeship, forget University, because the fees are ridiculous' - they are in place so that students have an option and can make a better informed choice about their own future.
The pre-conceived view that Apprenticeships are only for manual jobs is a view that is becoming something of the past, which is very positive. An Apprenticeship now covers all sectors, from IT and Media through to Finance.
Apprenticeships are a chance to gain real experience in a work environment, whilst studying for a relevant qualification and earning a salary! They usually last for 1 - 2 years.
I'm currently on a 13 month Apprenticeship until the end of July 2013. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience so far, having just about completed 4 months. To set the record straight, you're not their to make the tea and coffee! You are included with the business from day 1 and are really involved in all different projects and tasks.
My advice for anyone considering an Apprenticeship; apply for it, it is worth having this as another option.
I hope this has given a good outline about Apprenticeships and makes you consider your FUTURE and what TALENT you can develop.