Apprenticeship: the debt-free route to a satisfying job

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The popularity of apprenticeships has risen sharply in the last two years – between February and April 2013, applications were up 32% on the same period the previous year, according to the National Apprentice Service, meaning there were 11 people applying for each vacancy. Meanwhile, David Cameron has described them as the “new norm”.

This August, the government also introduced traineeships, which are year-long unpaid routes into work and apprenticeships for 16- to 24-year-olds.

Aiden Relf, a spokesperson for the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), says: “Young people are disinclined to have £27,000 worth of debt from going to university if they can help it. Having more assurances about work, as well as more economic independence, makes this type of training an attractive route.

“Traditionally we have had a culture where if you don’t get in to university, it’s seen as some kind of failure, but now apprenticeships are popular.”

Providers are concerned, however, that not enough young people are aware of apprenticeships and the options available. You can do an apprenticeship in anything from costume design to financial services. There are even options within the most popular careers, such the television industry, theatre, charities and law.

Jaine Bolton, a director at the National Apprentice Service, explains that there are now more opportunities to do apprenticeships, because businesses are starting to see the potential in them: “We are seeing larger businesses start them on a more varied range of career paths within their companies, and many smaller businesses are interested too.”

Source: The Guardian

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