The academic year is over and millions of young people are faced with a simple question with many implications: ‘What’s next?’. Post-high school or college, a range of options begin to open up. Young people choose to progress with their education, either more traditionally (A-Levels and degrees) or vocationally (BTEC/NVQ), or head out straight into the world of work. With regards to university, the financial implications must be considered. Recent figures suggest that a typical student outside of London can expect to leave with £40,000 of student debt after their degree, and this amount is only set to keep rising.
There is another route to consider, one that not only guarantees a debt-free education, but also provides genuine career prospects. Previously overlooked and mis-sold, apprenticeships have recently seen a great resurgence thanks to much-improved quality of the programmes and increased backing by the Government. With 75% of young people having no idea what to do after school, apprenticeships have really stepped up to be a viable alternative to traditional education.
Many young people are itching to find a job and earn money, at the same time they may be reluctant to give up formal education. Apprenticeships are the perfect blend of both. They also provide the opportunity to effectively utilise your passion for health, sports and fitness in a professional context. In the past we’ve helped find jobs for apprentices who have always loved the idea of working in a gym, teaching classes and becoming a personal trainer, but haven’t had the funds to pay for a course commercially.
The beauty of apprenticeship programmes is that the education and training side of the things is paid for by the Government*. On top of that you’ll actually be working in a gym, health club or similar venue, earning a regular wage. We’ve previously worked with a range of high-profile businesses such as David Lloyd, Bolton Wanders Community Trust, Fit4Less, DW Fitness, with many more in the pipeline.
As for pay, the National Minimum Wage for apprentices currently stands at £2.73 an hour (£81.90 per week), and this is set to rise to £3.10 an hour/£93 per week in October 2015. The average apprenticeship wage however is £4.03. In our experience, the better an apprentice performs in the role, the more chance they have of being paid well above the national minimum.
Taken from our latest Apprenticeships booklet, here are the various pathways available to you if you’re considering this fantastic opportunity:
As with any big decision, whether it’s in education or employment, young people may want to seek advice from their parents. In fact, Not Going to Uni’s survey of over 700 schools found that nearly 40% of young people look to their parents for help when making career choices. To ensure no one is kept in the dark, the Government has produced an easy to follow guide for parents.
On top of this, we’ve also produced a wealth of information and detailed blog posts which explore the ideas at the heart of apprenticeships. There are even case studies from our apprenticeship partners. Here you can read first-hand about the apprentice experience, including the day-to-day activities involved with working in a gym, and what it’s like to gain qualifications on the job.
*If an apprentice is aged 16-18 then the Government, through the Skills Funding Agency, provide 100% of the funding required. At 19-23, an employer contribution will be required. Rest assured, you’ll never be out of pocket.