Welcome back to another one of our blogs and this entire week is most certainly a cause for celebration as it is National Apprenticeship Week!

This annual celebration has been designed to bring the whole apprenticeship community together to celebrate the impact that apprenticeships have on individuals, employers and the economy.

Apprenticeships have become increasingly popular over years and types of apprenticeships such as degree apprenticeships can be used as a more cost-effective way of gaining the University equivalent qualification without the added stress of debt.

Just how many people take part in apprenticeships?

Statistics from a House of Commons survey revealed the following information:

  • Last year’s academic year saw  a total of 742,400 people participating in an apprenticeship in England, with 393,400 apprenticeship starts and a total 185,100 apprenticeship achievements.
  • The age profile of people starting apprenticeships changed between 2017/18 and 2018/19, with a higher proportion of starts from apprentices over the age of 24 and 46% of the apprenticeships started in 2018/19 were by people aged 25.
  • The age group with the largest increase was by those aged between 35 and 44, with 21% more starts than in 2017/18.
  • The gender profile has also changed. The number of women and men starting apprenticeships were almost at the same level, with slightly more starts by women (50.1%). In 2017/18, there were slightly more starts by men (51%).
  • Apprenticeship starts were more likely to be at a higher level in 2018/19.
  • 44% of apprenticeships started in 2018/19 were at advanced level, with 19% started at higher level. In 2017/18, 44% of apprenticeship starts were at an advanced level

What part does Freedom Works play when it comes to apprenticeships? 

Since opening back in 2016 we have introduced three apprentices to our team and here is just what Apprentice Community Manager, Fran,  had to say:

"Hi there, my name is Francesca and I am Freedom Works Hove Community Manager (that's me in the photo with the Queen balloon).

“I feel as though the sterotype when people hear the word 'apprentice', the words that come to mind include "low wage/ lack of training/ waste of time". However, this would be the complete opposite of what I have experienced at Freedom Works, and I am going to tell you why...  

“Granted - not all apprenticeships will be a 10/10, however, what is important to remember is the experience you are gaining. Safe to say at Freedom Works, that is something I have definitely gained in so many aspects!  

“I joined Freedom Works soon after I took the really difficult decision to leave Uni,  just after my first term - what I thought I really wanted to do as a degree was not the case anymore. So, after a Christmas break of umming and ahhing (and tears!), I took the really hard decision to leave...

I was now back at home with no clue what I wanted to do anymore and quite frankly, I was very overwhelmed. 

“However, one day in the beginning of the year (out of curiosity), I started scrolling through the government website for apprenticeships. Some  - more appealing from others - when I then came across an opening for Freedom Works. I started reading the criteria and immediately I was ticking off requirements in my head... therefore  - I applied... and long story short - I got the role!

“As an apprentice, your trainers/ mentors have the duty to support you, which is fantastic as you have a help line as of such if you should need it. What's also great is that you are literally earning whilst you learn. Being assessed regularly/ completing course work etc might not be appealing for you, however, you have got to remember that it just enforces the skills which you have learnt! And if anything, it gives you complete confidence in your new skill set. 

“Being a very studious and conscientious student, I definitely thought the 'Uni' route was for me, as did others. And previously, would not have thought twice about doing an apprenticeship. Yet now - I am completely the opposite.  

“I would recommend an apprenticeship to ANYBODY! No matter if you're an A* student or if you struggled to pass your GCSE Maths, an apprenticeship really could be for you! 

“What really counts is being willing to learn new skills and open to tackling new challenges, which you most likely not have learnt in the classroom. Through this, you will find you truly grow in confidence in the workplace and an opportunity like this allows you to get a brilliant foot-on-the-ladder as you develop in your professional career. "  

We hope this blog has either inspired you to take your first steps into the apprenticeship world or gifted you with the knowledge to spread the positive impacts these programmes can have in the business world.

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