Young & Ambitious? Apprenticeships can help you get ahead!
Careers coach Penny Strutton is writing a weekly column for This Is Nottingham with advice for job seekers. This week she looks at apprenticeships...
All the talk of youth unemployment can leave you feeling a bit desperate if you're young and have ambition. However, if you dig around a little you'll find a whole host of opportunities available to you right here in Nottingham. The further education establishments seem to have responded to the call for greater employability skills and opportunities for young people and put in place numerous apprenticeship programmes to meet all levels of academic and technical abilities.
Looking at the New College Nottingham Website was enlightening, I counted over 35 apprenticeship programmes which range from the more traditional trade apprenticeships right up to apprenticeships covering accountancy, IT skills to management.
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The stigma of apprenticeships being for those less academic is a notion of the past. Take the IT apprenticeship for example being run through NCN and delivered by the National IT Partnership. To be eligible to join you have to have 5 A-C grade GCSEs. The organisation helps find you a job within a business where you'll spend the first 12 months working and building your professional IT skills. The time spent at the academy equates to approximately 9 weeks out of that year, where you're given specialist training and opportunities to develop your employability skills. And what do you get as a result? A level 3 qualification!
From here you could move onto higher education, but based on the outputs of the IT apprenticeship programme about 85% retain their jobs within the business. Feedback from participating businesses suggest they're far more likely to employ an apprentice over a graduate as they have the business skills and understanding to get stuck in and start delivering. This is great news when the cost of university degrees have sky rocketed!
Although most apprenticeships are aimed at 16-19 year olds, if you're that bit older and realise an apprenticeship is for you, organisations such as the National IT Partnership will consider enrolling you if you're able to demonstrate a real passion and skill in the area.
So, how can you find out more? If you're interested in the IT skills apprenticeship programme take a look at www.3AAA.co.uk for any of the other apprenticeships being offered via New College Nottingham take a look at their website www.ncn.ac.uk .
Gone are the days when a university degree is the ticket you need to get your foot in the door. If you're willing to work, learn and progress an apprenticeship can lead to a prosperous and prestigious career!
If you're young and unemployed and have no idea what you're good at or could do next, my online training and career coaching programmes can help. Take a look at my website for more information.