News Blog


Are Apprenticeships the New Norm?

Wednesday, 21 August 2013
By: Martha

Apprenticeships are becoming increasingly popular and opportunities are now widely available with over 16,000 live apprenticeship vacancies listed on the NAS website. Over 34 per cent of these vacancies fall within the Business, Administration and Law sector subject area which emphasises the vast contribution made by business-related apprenticeship programmes. The high number of vacancies is driven by the rising demand for apprenticeship places from potential apprentices, and a growing awareness from employers about the benefits apprenticeships can bring to a business.1

Society is acknowledging the fact that apprenticeships have a huge amount to offer. By providing opportunities for the development of specific work based skills, whilst supporting qualification achievement and paying a wage, apprenticeships provide an extremely beneficial career pathway.

It is clear to see why we love apprenticeships, a sentiment which is shared by young people throughout the country. Research published by ICM explored the opinions of young people and concluded that over half (54 per cent) would choose to do an apprenticeship if one were available.2 This shows a growing awareness of, and interest in, apprenticeships. An impressive 56 per cent of young people who have already begun a university course and 66 per cent of those who are already employed also stated that they would like to complete an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships are also popular amongst employers and there is a great deal of research supporting apprenticeships and the vast number of employer benefits. Earlier this year it was reported that employers believe those who have completed an apprenticeship are 15 per cent more employable than those who have not.3 Similarly, higher apprentices are deemed the most employable of all young people (with qualifications), more so than those who have completed university degrees.

In light of these research findings our CEO, David Holland, has stated that "Higher Apprenticeships are an excellent way for young people to earn while they learn and develop a successful career within a profession. We have supported the development of 10 new Higher Apprenticeships over the past two years including higher apprenticeships in Project Management, HR, and Recruitment. Higher apprenticeships provide pathways to professional recognition and higher education whilst helping organisations to attract and develop new talent within their business. We are delighted to hear that more and more young people are considering apprenticeships as a first choice career move and would like to continue to see this grow in the future”.

One of the major battles for those supporting and promoting apprenticeships is presenting them alongside the more traditional, well established university route. Research conducted by ICM (amongst others) suggests that this polarisation has somewhat diminished, with those who are in the process of completing a university course also contemplating the benefits an apprenticeship can bring. Various learning and development opportunities are now presented on a level playing field, which is ideal as they share a similar end goal: to encourage development and upskill the country’s workforce.  

It is great to see that apprenticeships are swiftly becoming the norm and it is vital that this level of popularity is not only maintained, but also built upon. 


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