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Changing The Opinions of Apprenticeships: University Education vs. Apprenticeship Schemes

Abby Davies - Wednesday, October 12, 2016

With the first term of the academic year now in full swing, we know that you’ll be thinking about what the best options are for the next step in your career path… and with university fees seemingly always increasing, we know that this means that students are now looking at alternative routes such as apprenticeships to fulfil their ambitions. However, with a reportreleased last week by the Organisation

for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revealing that only 2% of young people are currently taking the apprenticeship route, it is clear that somewhere the opinions about apprenticeship schemes need to be re-evaluated to improve the uptake.

Part of the reason for this is likely to be because there are so many misunderstandings about what an apprenticeship scheme can really offer you. In reality, there are a huge number of advantages of completing an apprenticeship versus the university degree path. We’ve assessed the situation and included some of the top ones for you below.

Job prospects

Doing an apprenticeship can completely transform your job prospects, allowing you to gain both transferable skills and an industry qualification all at the same time. You may think that having a university degree guarantees you a better job, but this is not the case! Recent statistics show that 58.8% of graduates are actually in jobs deemed to be non-graduate roles. When you compare this with the fact that over 90% of apprentices stay in employment after their scheme finishes, it is clear that the apprenticeship route offers you a much safer bet on your future prospects.


You can start earning from day one of your apprenticeship, as they combine paid work with the skills training, whereas if you wanted to earn whilst doing a degree, you’d have to work in a part-time role alongside your studies. Moreover, with an apprenticeship you won’t have any of the loans associated with university education so you’ll be able to start your adult life debt-free!


You get to join the workforce straightaway, rather than waiting a minimum of three years to finish your degree, which means that you can start to work your way up the ladder much earlier! Experience counts for a lot in today’s workplace; with an apprenticeship you are gaining valuable first-hand experience every day that will help you to pack out your CV and get higher up in the business world much faster as you’ll have a huge advantage over other applicants. You’ll also make a lot of valuable contacts as you are working in the industry on a daily basis, which will undoubtedly help you find and secure new roles in the future.


A key advantage of apprenticeship schemes is that you’re working alongside industry professionals every day, who are always there to answer any of your questions and show you how it’s done. When studying for a degree, the approach is very different. The focus is very much around self-directed learning, so it can be much more difficult to find out the answers to questions as they arise.

Although apprenticeships offer a large number of advantages, we know that the opinions of them are still somewhat lagging behind. We hope that this blog post has helped to set the record straight, but if you have any questions about whether an apprenticeship is right for you then make a free appointment with an AIM Advisor today who can help to further explain the benefits!



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