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Apprenticeships: Putting Apprenticeships in the spotlight

28 February, 2018Karen Taylor
apprentice2An apprenticeship only involves manual work.  Not true!  Apprenticeships are only for people who were not academic at school.  Also completely untrue! 

Despite the Government’s drive towards achieving more high quality apprenticeships, including numerous so-called ‘white collar’ professions, too many myths still surround what an apprenticeship entails.  Sadly, a lot of people continue to think of an apprenticeship as, first and foremost, a manual job, say construction or plumbing.  Findings from a recent survey undertaken by Investors in People just go to underline the public misconception, with 52 per cent of parents surveyed describing their understanding of an apprenticeship as ‘a career route for people who want to work in the trades’.   If you take into account that 77 per cent of young people cite parents as their top influence when leaving school, this lack of understanding is of grave concern.  The old-fashioned and outdated image of an apprenticeship offering ‘cheap labour’ is, in fact, miles away from today’s reality.

But, there is a boost

The recent news that Cambridge University is to offer apprenticeships for the first time is a massive boost to the sector.  The university has said that its plans currently remain in ‘active development’ but will, most likely, focus on apprenticeships at postgraduate level.  The arrival in the apprenticeships world of an institution with such academic prestige is a gigantic leap in the right direction and sends a very clear message to the ‘naysayers’.  It’s true that a shift in public perception is going to take some time but, thanks to the apprenticeships levy, multi-national companies are now becoming major players on the apprenticeships ‘scene’. 

Apprenticeships in Finance

In no industry is this more evident than financial services.  With apprenticeships available at higher and degree-level, those aspiring to management careers in our industry can study for a degree or professional qualification whilst gaining that all-important real-world experience – fast-tracking his or her career with no student debt.  Without question, an enticing – and exciting – proposition.

Women mentorsTime to celebrate!

Apprenticeships benefit both the employer and the employee hugely and, for those of us who are passionate about apprenticeships, 5 to 9 March 2018 is the time to celebrate this!  National Apprenticeship Week, run by the National Apprenticeship Service, is now in its eleventh year.  Next month’s will be the first since the introduction of the apprenticeships levy and the launch of the Institute for Apprenticeships in April 2017.  For these reasons, this year is likely to be the biggest and best yet!  The theme is ‘Apprenticeships Work’ and whether you are an employer, an education or training provider, currently in a job or a young person at school or college, National Apprenticeship Week will be all about showing how apprenticeships can – and do – work for you.  So, in March, let’s bust those myths, shine a light on apprenticeships in financial services and put them firmly where they belong – centre stage.

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