August 17, 2019

5 reasons why an Apprenticeship is a great alternative to A-Levels

If you’ve just finished your GCSEs and you don’t fancy choosing the A-Level and university route, here are five reasons why an apprenticeship makes a great alternative.

5 reasons to do an apprenticeship instead of A-Levels:

1. Earn and learn as you work

With an apprenticeship, you’ll earn money while working towards a vocational qualification. That means you can enjoy greater financial independence from an earlier age. In comparison, the vast majority of A-Level students are still reliant on their parents/guardians financially (and often throughout university).

If you’re between the age of 16 and 19, you won’t need to pay for an apprenticeship as it will be funded by the government.

2. Gain valuable experience

Another important reason to do an apprenticeship is that you’ll get experience of working in a particular sector. You’ll be able to acquire new skills and put them to practice – which will help you become better at your job and become qualified for more senior roles in the future.

3. Fast-track your career

If you do well in your apprenticeship, there’s no limit to what you can achieve in the long run, especially if you work at a large company. You can progress in your career much faster than a typical graduate who’s likely to have significantly less work experience than you once they graduate.

4. Get trained by your employer

Rather than paying for an expensive training programme or a degree, you’ll be paid to receive on-the-job training. This makes an apprenticeship an efficient way to get work experience and achieve a qualification – both in terms of the time required and the financial cost.

5. Avoid the almost inevitable debt of the university route

Until the late 1990s, an undergraduate degree used to be free throughout the UK. Since then, tuition fees in England have escalated, with many universities now charging £9,250 per year for a full-time degree.

Once a graduate starts earning more than £26,575 a year (from April 6 2020), they must pay 9% of their earnings towards any student debts they have. This means someone earning a graduate starting salary of £27,000 would pay £115 per month, or £1,380 per year. Imagine if you could earn this amount without having to pay back such extortionate student debts? And at an even earlier age than a graduate. With an apprenticeship, this is possible. Apprentices with Level 5 qualification earn approximately £50,000 more in their lifetime compared to a graduate from a non-Russell Group university.

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