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Five reasons an apprenticeship can be your path to a great career

What next? Perhaps you’re leaving school this year and considering the huge range of options for your next step. Maybe you’re working your way through a stack of college prospectuses but feeling you need something more than just classroom-based learning?

Today marks the start of National Apprenticeship Week and we think it’s definitely worth checking out. Taking the apprenticeship route not only means you combine workplace and classroom learning, but you’ll end up with a recognised qualification AND you’ll be getting paid.

We’ve gathered five reasons we think you should definitely consider an apprenticeship for your next step – whatever your age.

1 - Combine hands-on experience with college-based learning:

Nothing beats getting into a workplace for the valuable experience that employers love to see on your CV. Becoming an apprentice means you’ll not only be actually doing the job you’re interested in and enhancing your practical skills, but also learning the theories to support those skills. This could be through a weekly day or block release at college, or perhaps a combination of college and online learning.

Here at York College we support a massive range of apprenticeships in everything from engineering and IT to hairdressing and hospitality. We even support some really hard-to-find opportunities such as stonemasonry and digital marketing.

2 - Support for you:

Because you’re always going to be surrounded by people with experience and expertise in your chosen career path, you’re always going to have plenty of support during your apprenticeship.

In the workplace you’ll have a mentor to guide you, as well as colleagues to build working relationships with. At York College we’ll send one of our assessors to see you in the workplace every eight-to-10 weeks to ensure you’re getting the most out of your experience. While in College you’ll have the full support of your tutors.

3 - You’ll be fully qualified:

Approach your apprenticeship opportunities with commitment and you’ll achieve a recognised qualification once you’ve completed.

At York College we offer a choice of levels ranging range from Level 2, a GCSE equivalent, right through to Level 4 which is the equivalent of a Foundation Degree equivalent. Your qualifications will be recognised by employers and are quality assured.

And remember – apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers, they’re open to any one of any age.

4 - Out in the world:

Work (and often life) is all about networking and building contacts. Taking the apprenticeship route means you’ll start building those valuable relationships from day-one, both social and professional.

You may find that once you’ve completed your apprenticeship and you have your qualifications you want to carry on learning, change career or even become your own boss. The relationships you make during your time in the workplace and in College will be really useful, whatever path you decide to take.

5 - Earn while you learn:

Yes, you get paid to be an apprentice. Currently the minimum wage you can expect is £4.30 an hour but this can be more depending on age or the discretion of your employer.

Earning a wage while you learn means avoiding the financial challenges of studying full time at university. Being an apprentice also means you avoid costly courses and student loans.

To find out more on apprenticeships at York College, including our current vacancies and how to apply, head to our dedicated page at