With schools now breaking up for the summer and school leavers looking at the next big step in their lives, it’s important for parents to understand the options available, including apprenticeships.
Worryingly, a recent survey found that a third of parents don’t know what an apprenticeship is. As a parent, wouldn’t you want to know about all of the opportunities available to your child?
Apprenticeships are increasingly becoming a great option for many young people as they move on from school and college.
We’ve broken down some of the big questions that parents should know the answer to when considering if an apprenticeship is right for their child.
Will your child be safe?
The safety of your child is absolutely paramount. All apprenticeship providers should have safeguarding procedures in place and ALL staff involved in the delivery should promote and adhere to these.
Apprenticeships are regulated by Ofsted and apprenticeship providers are funded by the Department for Education. Meaning that every apprenticeship provider should have effective safeguarding procedures in place.
When it comes to the safety of learners, apprenticeships are HIGHLY regulated.
Will your child get a permanent job at the end of the apprenticeship?
Whilst not every apprentice gets a permanent job at the end of their apprenticeship, our statistics show that the majority of apprentices do go on to secure a permanent role.
8/10 of our apprentices go on to full-time work within their field after their apprenticeship has ended. Of those apprentices who gain a permanent role, 7/10 are offered the job from their current apprenticeship employer. 1/10 go on to university or further study, and 1/10 go on to a job with another employer.
That means nine times out of ten, your child will end up taking a really positive next step at the end of an apprenticeship.
How much will your child earn?
Apprentices are ALWAYS paid for their work within a role.
Here at the London Group, our apprentices are paid a minimum of £200 per week. We won’t work with employers who pay less than this, and we believe that this is a fair apprenticeship wage (the national minimum wage is much lower).
Many of our employers pay significantly more than this, and it is not uncommon for apprentices to start their apprenticeship earning the London Living Wage. There is lots of information on apprentice wage regulations here.
Will your child have to pay for any of the training?
Absolutely not. Neither you nor your child should ever have to pay a penny for the training. If your child chose to follow the route of a degree apprenticeship, this means they could get that much coveted university degree without any of the associated student debt!
How many hours is your child expected to work during the week?
All apprentices are expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. If they’re 16 or 17 years of age, they’re not expected to work more than 40 hours a week. Normal working regulations apply for those over the age of 18.
What are the industries that your child might end up working in?
The possibilities for different pathways and courses are HUGE. Apprenticeships range from construction to software development and everything in-between.
Here at the London Group, we supply business and tech apprenticeships with digital skills at their core.
But the options for apprenticeships provide an unbelievable variety of opportunities for your child to get into a specified field of work.
It’s worth looking at the National Apprenticeship Service to investigate all the options available.
How do you know that the employer will look after your child when at work?
Good apprenticeship providers will carefully vet every employer they work with.
At the London Group, we check-in weekly with our learners and have regular contact with all of the employers we’re working with. Apprentices also have the tools to contact us at any time during the day or night with any issues they may have.
What happens at the end of the apprenticeship?
As mentioned earlier, 9/10 of our apprentices go on to a positive next step after completing a London Group apprenticeship. Permanent employment isn’t the only option available to those who finish an apprenticeship.
Qualifications as well as experience gained during the apprenticeship mean that apprentices have many options available to them – including the opportunity to go onto higher education. For those who go on to university after their apprenticeship, the year in work is essentially a productive gap-year!
An apprentice can continue to train for an advanced, higher or degree level apprenticeship if they would like to extend their education. This has the benefit of allowing your child to get a degree, but without any of the associated debt.
Does your child get a qualification?
If your child successfully completes their apprenticeship they will receive a nationally recognised and accredited qualification, in the form of an apprenticeship framework certificate or an apprenticeship standard.
There are different levels of qualifications available in apprenticeships: Intermediate (GCSE), Advanced (A-Level) and Higher (Foundation Degree). Here at the London Group, we offer Advanced and Higher apprenticeships.
How does your child apply for an apprenticeship?
There are a number of different ways to apply for an apprenticeship, and we think the best place to find the biggest variety of opportunities is online.
Applicants can directly apply though apprenticeship provider websites such as ours at The London Group. Or you can try a variety of different sites including NotGoingToUni, and GetInGoFar and of course, the National Apprenticeship Service.
How is your child financially supported in an apprenticeship?
The fear of not being able to apply for student loans and help financially is a worry for parents.
Grants and loans help thousands of those in further education across the country. It is worth noting that HSBC include apprenticeships as part of their student loan accounts.
On top of that, remember that apprentices are ALWAYS paid for their work within a role.
Making sure your child is making the best decision regarding their future poses a variety of different questions.
If you have anymore queries about apprenticeships. Please feel free to get in touch with us at email@example.com
Learning About Apprenticeships: How Can School Leavers Benefit From An Apprenticeship?
Every year, hundreds of thousands of school leavers face a daunting choice. What is the best way for them to continue to learn and develop as they venture out into the big wide world?
Here at the London Group we have helped hundreds of school leavers to answer this question over the years. It’s a really big moment, and we have a responsibility to guide each young person in the right direction.
At times this means that we may even suggest a young person does something other than an apprenticeship – after all, this choice will have an impact on the rest of their life, so it needs to be right for the individual.
Apprenticeships may be right for them, or university, or even a gap year. Each young person is different, so why shouldn’t their choices in life be?
What an apprenticeship allows for young people is the ability to choose a specific career path and learning programme that they’re interested in.
‘That sounds a lot like university?’ you might say. Well yes, that part is like choosing a university course.
What a university degree doesn’t allow for though are a few of the great and unique things about apprenticeships.
As mentioned in my previous blog post ‘How Much Does Hiring and Being An Apprentice Cost?’, there is absolutely no cost for young people who choose to do an apprenticeship. Considering that university tuition fees alone can cost up to £9,000 a year, this is a major benefit.
In fact, apprentices earn money, rather than incurring debit. Apprentices do a PAID job at the same time as learning the knowledge, skills and behaviours to be successful in their chosen career.
Don’t employers prefer to hire graduates with a degree?
A recent report commissioned by Bright Network suggests there is a misconception about what employers are looking for in their junior hires.
The report shows that while many graduates believe gaining a 2:1 or above is what employers value most in candidates, employers want something quite different.
The employers who participated in the study said that ‘passion for the business’ and ‘communication skills’ were the attitudes that they were most interested in.
A fascinating insight, isn’t it? It shows that the expectations of employers lean more towards a person’s character than they do towards final grades.
Does every apprentice gain a paid placement?
If you apply for an apprenticeship and are successful, then you will definitely be working for a company and doing a paid apprenticeship job. So, yes, every apprentice does get paid work. Unfortunately, not every young person who applies for an apprenticeship gets the job.
What we do here at The London Group is attempt to make sure the right apprentice is placed within the correct role. A big part of making sure we get this right is our CareerKickstarter.
CareerKickstarter is a weekly event allowing young people to talk to clients face to face. Removing the process of CVs that heavily rely on grades and achievements. Instead focussing on the passion and communication skills that employers look for most.
But what about when the apprenticeship has finished?
All good things must come to an end. Or do they?
We’ve found our setup at the London Group to be hugely beneficial to young people. Over 86% of our apprentices have gone into into full time employment after their apprenticeship had finished. This is with either their current employer or a different employer.
That’s an incredibly high achievement rate after 13 months of learning, training and paid work. On top of that, over 75% of apprentices receive a pay increase from when they started their apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships aren’t for everyone. But as an option for school leavers, the benefits are there for all to see for young people.
Two weeks ago, it would have been fair to say I knew very little about apprenticeships.
I had just started my role as the digital marketing manager at the London Group and quickly realised what little knowledge I had when it came to everything apprentice.
One of my biggest misconceptions before I began was the cost of hiring an apprentice. Why would a business hire an apprentice and invest valuable time training one? Could they just spend the money on someone who already knows what they’re doing?
First of all, the cost of training an apprentice for many businesses is free. For the bigger companies, a large percentage of the training is paid for by the government.
Businesses that hire apprentices are funded in slightly different ways. They are split into two categories;
- Levy payers (businesses with a payroll of MORE than £3m a year)
- Non levy payers (businesses with a payroll of LESS than £3m a year).
Levy payers pay a tax on their payroll. This is stored in a digital account and ring fenced for spending on their apprenticeship scheme. If they don’t use the money within two years, they lose it and the expense is effectively written off as a tax.
The apprenticeship levy isn’t the easiest thing to understand, as I discovered, so to find out about the levy in more detail, check out the simple breakdown on the London Group website HERE.
Smaller companies (non-levy payers) are exempt from paying into the apprenticeship levy. For them the cost of training an apprentice is either heavily subsidised or completely free.
Such heavily subsidised training costs mean that in most cases the employer only really needs to consider the cost of the apprentice’s salary when they’re thinking about taking on a young person.
Because apprentices are working at the same time as getting a qualification, starting salaries are lower than you might expect. For example at the London Group, we recommend a starting salary of £200 per week for apprentices on our business programme, Future London.
But what about the cost of being an apprentice?
Gaining an apprenticeship is completely free for young people. Unlike a university course, there is no fee to pay for learning. They are paid to do their job at the same time as receiving training relevant to the role.
So, the deal for young people is that they receive nationally recognised training and at least a year of paid work. Doesn’t that seem a little too good to be true!?
It’s certainly not what I expected and it has completely opened my eyes to the way businesses hire apprentices and to how enthusiastic young people are about gaining the skills and getting the jobs they want in today’s economy.
There are a lot of things in this piece that you may already know. But for many, apprenticeships are uncommon knowledge.
The system benefits everyone and it’s now time to make sure everyone knows about it.
I’m new to apprenticeships and I’ll to be sharing a series of blogs as I learn all about them.
I’ll be breaking down ideas for businesses and young people alike who, like me, want to learn more about apprenticeships from the very beginning.
Now the money part is out of the way, how can young people leaving school benefit from an apprenticeship? Look out for my next blog where I’ll share my thoughts on this topic.