The Pros and Cons of an Apprenticeship – as an Employee

The current government’s push to get more Brits into apprenticeships has been highly publicised and debated in the media.

There are many perks for both employee and employer when it comes to apprenticeships and it is an absolutely fantastic choice if you prefer practical learning.

This is especially pertinent in land-based sectors such as Agriculture, Horticulture, and Arboriculture that, thanks to increased coverage in popular culture and a revamping of image, are becoming more appealing to young people.

But is this push for more young people to sign up to apprenticeships meaning that less young people will want to study for a degree, resulting in an under-staffed academic sector?

It is not hard to see why some teenagers would choose an apprenticeship over university. Apprenticeships allow you to learn industry skills whilst earning a wage, thus avoiding the crippling student debt that many undergraduates suffer.

Whichever way you look at it, there are pros and cons to choosing to be an apprentice. Read this list and make up your own mind.

Pros

Learning on the Job
Perfect for those that don’t enjoy or thrive under a classroom set up. You will gain an NVQ which is recognised by employers in the industry whilst learning in a workplace environment.

Earning a Wage
Speaks for itself. You can support yourself throughout your training and leave, fully-qualified, debt-free. Earning a wage is also a great incentive to work hard and pass your qualification.

A Quicker Qualification
Most university undergraduate degrees take three or four years to complete. As a guide, an intermediate level 2 apprenticeship usually takes around 12 to 18 months and an advanced level 3 apprenticeship around 24 months. You will be qualified for the workplace much sooner than if gaining a degree.

Cons

Missing out on the Uni Experience
For many young people, moving away from home for the first time to go to university is as much a life lesson as an academic one. By doing an apprenticeship, you will most likely still be living at home, yes you earn a wage but the current national minimum wage for apprentices under 19 is £2.65 an hour. This is not enough to support yourself if living away from home.

Added Responsibility
You will delve straight into the world of employment without the break that those at university would have. Your employer will treat you like any other employee meaning that there is a steep learning curve straight out of secondary school. Some thrive in this environment, others can find it overwhelming. You need to be motivated and self-sufficient to succeed.

Not All Career Paths and Industries Are Covered
Certain careers are only obtainable with a degree, particularly in areas such as medicine and science.

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