Apprenticeship Blog by Eloise Robertson
8th March 2018 (Made In Corby has since renamed Made With Many)
Hi I’m Eloise, Made In Corby’s Apprentice Marketing Assistant! Made in Corby is a community-led arts programme which produces events and activities designed to surprise, delight and inspire local people.
I am currently studying Business and Administration with Tresham College, and my job is to manage Made In Corby’s social media and website, admin and event organisation but I also attend most Made In Corby events as part of my apprenticeship.
I feel that apprenticeships aren’t as popular as they should be as they are not often seen as a “conventional” method of study. Here are the 10 reasons why I chose to do an apprenticeship with Made In Corby.
The Main Reason:
After leaving school during the middle of my A-Levels, I roamed through various jobs and never found one that I particularly felt was my calling.
Throughout my GCSEs I loved school and the social aspect that came with it. But during my A-levels I felt like the pressure of behaving like an adult, mixed with the hierarchical atmosphere of school didn’t really suit my personality, therefore I decided to leave and build upon my employment skills.
My background has always been music, and through studying classical and pop music for some time I realised that the career path I want to follow was not reliant on a degree or some other type of formal qualification and more through experience in the arts. So when I eventually found an arts apprenticeship, I was thrilled!
Take a look at 9 more reasons why I chose to do an apprenticeship…
When you are applying for a job, employers want experience. But what if you’re a school leaver?
One of the most valuable things you will gain by doing an apprenticeship is experience. If you are sitting in a classroom all day, copying from textbooks then experience will likely be hard to come by, so the best way to achieve some XP while studying is either to volunteer or to exhaust yourself with a part-time job.
But the amazing thing about apprenticeships is that you get time to work, study and play, all while still getting paid for it. You have allocated time to study for a full qualification (relevant to the job, of course) and you gain experience of a real world job at the same time.
Having industry experience is very important when getting your first job, so being able to show that you’ve got that AND qualifications will give you a huge advantage over other applicants. You will also discover various transferable skills during your apprenticeship that you can take with you to many other industries!
2. Career pathways
Following your apprenticeship your employer might aid you in finding further employment, you might carry on with them or a start in a completely new company. They have spent a huge amount of time and money on you, so it is within their interests to guide you on your path to success. If you are on an apprenticeship and you impress your employer, they might choose to employ you full time or even offer you a higher level apprenticeship.
If you are a good employee, the company would save time and money by employing you as you will already know the job well and would not have to invest time in more training (like they would with a new employee). The more that you demonstrate competency and knowledge of the job you are doing, you might be offered more training and be able to apply for other jobs within the company.
So… it is vital that you explore every single avenue that your chosen career takes in order to decide which is the best for you.
3. Learning styles
If you are a hands-on learner like I am, then an apprenticeship will be perfect for you as you get to experience the world of work in which your studies are relevant to. Whereas, if you are a textbook learner planning on studying medicine and becoming a doctor, then I wouldn’t suggest an apprenticeship as you more than likely take a logical approach to studying. This is something that took me a while to learn, but it can be a great help when helping you to decide what on Earth to do!
4. Earn while you learn
Full time apprenticeship wages can range from £6500 per year to £20k a year depending on the employer and the industry the apprenticeship is in. Although your wage might not seem a lot compared to most jobs, being paid to study and learning about specific industries is extremely rewarding and very motivating.
Also, research shows that apprentices earn £4,000 more than graduates per year in their first job.*
Students who pay for their tuition in the form of Student Finance and maintenance loans will be in approx £50,000 of debt when they leave university. Apprenticeships do not incur any debts as your employer is responsible for covering most of your tuition costs and also paying you a wage. The government also pay for a chunk of your apprenticeship fees too.
5. Student Discounts £££
There are sooo many student discount schemes available at the moment, some are paid but most are free and are in app form so you can use them on the go!
The most popular student discount schemes are:
- NUS Extra (www.nus.org.uk)
- UNiDAYS (www.myunidays.com)
- Student Beans (www.studentbeans.com)
- Save The Student (www.savethestudent.org)
- Student Money Saver (www.studentmoneysaver.co.uk)
6. Support and guidance
When you start your apprenticeship, you will be placed with a mentor who will teach you everything you need to know about the business and how your role fits into day-to-day business. You’ll find you can teach your employer a thing or two! (I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll know more about Snapchat than your 40-something boss!)
Young people have a lot to offer with the flurry of social media and general computing, so we are a valuable asset to companies working with marketing and digital media!
If you have any questions about techniques, terminology or anything related to the industry, you can instantly ask your mentor!
No one ever learned without making mistakes… Asking questions allows you to get expert information from someone who knows your job inside out, and maybe you can even bring a fresh take on the strategies and methods that your mentor uses… Like letting them know that no one says “lit” or “YOLO” anymore.
Unlike being at school, you will be taking on more responsibility and trying new things that are relevant to your job. Having a personal 1-1 mentor is great for people who do not benefit from classroom learning as your mentor can easily adapt their teaching styles and speed to your needs.
7. Strengthen your CV
Your CV will be one of the most important documents when you are building your career. If an employer sees that you have studied an apprenticeship, it both shows your ability to multitask and manage workloads, and I believe it gives you a considerable employability boost. More than 90% of apprentices said that their career prospects had improved following their apprenticeship.**
All throughout your life, your CV should be updated with new jobs and experiences to reflect your knowledge in a summarised way for employers to clearly see what your background is. Having an apprenticeship on your CV vastly improves your career prospects as employers can see that you have been “shown the ropes” in your industry and are investing time and effort in yourself.
8. Networking and contact building
Working in different industries means meeting new people! In an apprenticeship, you will meet people that could help build your career in the future and people who will be able to provide information to you. For instance, you might meet someone at an event who knows a lot about a particular topic and you might want to take their contact details or add them on LinkedIn for future reference.
It is common to hear the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. This is in reference to contact building, so if you are familiar with someone from another business that you have contacted in previous employment, there might be more options for your career pathway than you think! Getting chatting to more people means more knowledge, and you never know who might have job opportunities coming up.
9. Gain a recognised qualification
Gaining a recognised qualification means that you have proof of knowledge in a particular area of study. Most qualifications offered in apprenticeships are delivered through an educational group like a college, school or university who have a criteria of study for each qualification they offer. This means that all of your work is checked and quality assured at various levels to ensure that your knowledge is good enough.
Also, having a recognised qualification is important as it will be instantly realised by the person looking at your CV as a certified qualification and they will more than likely know what it is.
Want to apply for an apprenticeship? Here’s my advice.
If you are a hands-on learner, DO IT.
If you feel the pressure of classroom learning, DO IT.
Want to earn while you learn? DO IT.
You want a pathway into a career that you don’t have relevant experience or qualifications for? DO IT.
Want to be Made In Corby’s next apprentice?
Made In Corby will be recruiting a new apprentice in Autumn 2018, so make sure to sign up to our newsletter to stay in the know!
HOW TO WRITE A CV WHEN APPLYING FOR AN APPRENTICESHIP – www.allaboutschoolleavers.co.uk/articles/article/20/apprenticeship-cv
Not Going To Uni – www.notgoingtouni.co.uk
GET IN GO FAR – www.getingofar.gov.uk
Get My First Job – www.getmyfirstjob.co.uk
Aim Higher Northamptonshire – www.aimhighernorthamptonshire.co.uk
GOV.uk website – www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsearch
UCAS – www.ucas.com/apprenticeships-in-england
My Kinda Future – www.mykindafuture.com