Apprenticeships; Are They a Challenge to Degrees? Guardian Jobs Discusses Pros and Cons

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM–(Marketwire – Feb. 13, 2012) – It is a hot, topical question: how much help are apprenticeships to a career.

For many young school-leavers, university degrees are no longer a pre-requisite to entering the job market. Not only has the recession made finding employment a huge battle for graduates, but university fees have sky rocketed; which has inevitably put many students off taking a degree.

An undergraduate degree now costs a small fortune in fees and student debt variously estimated at around £40,000. Whilst some are sticking with academia as they wait for the current climate to improve, others are looking at alternatives – in particular the apprenticeship which allows those on the scheme to earn their qualification whilst working and so gain valuable vocational experience.

But what exactly are apprenticeships? Guardian Jobs understands that with a growing interest, there is also a growing confusion as to what they are and importantly, what they can do for those who signing up for them – are they a reliable route to jobs?

Having been referred to as the heart of the economy by the government, apprenticeships are certainly being pushed to the centre of the stage. They have subsequently fed £1.4bn into apprenticeships. In addition, private companies offer their own exclusive paid training schemes, indicators that opportunities are arising and being fully developed.

But where does all the investment go and how do these schemes benefit the young?

To mark Apprenticeship Week (6th to 12th February 2012) Guardian Professional showed their support by providing a Live Question and Answer session with a panel of experts, on 7th February. The panel was comprised of business, education and careers experts who took live queries from prospective apprentices, trainers and guardians.

There is a firm acknowledgment that apprenticeships are on the rise and forecasters are predicting them to be the healthy rival to university academia in the near future. The proof is in the figures. Applications to apprenticeship schemes doubled in the 2010 to 2011 academic year.

If apprenticeships can be implemented to encourage a shift in youth unemployment and to create a positive upward spiral, then it is a highly welcomed and worthwhile alternative that should be funded and endorsed. Not just a vocational route, there is knowledge and learning along with the practical expertise. The face of the apprenticeship is changing to accommodate a new employment and economic requirements.

Guardian Professional is keen to offer help, advice and opportunities around apprenticeship schemes. Access to the Live Q&A from Guardian Professional can be found here:

About Guardian Jobs

Guardian Jobs has been the market leader in recruitment across the quality press for almost 20 years. With an audience comprising high quality jobseekers, Guardian only list the highest calibre vacancies in sectors that include Media, Education, Government, Graduate, Secretarial, Charities, Marketing, Social Care and Arts among others.

Paul Champion
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