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The Rise of the Engineering Apprentice


Many people assume that university is the safest route to a successful career. We’re conditioned to think so from an early age as we make our way through school all the way to college and eventually onto a university course. However, with the rise of tuition fees, associated costs like accommodation rental and the length of time the entire process takes, it’s become clear that an alternative is needed.

This is where apprenticeships in the UK can come in handy. As an alternate route to success that offers real job experience, it’s quickly becoming a viable alternative that deserves more attention. Between 2016/17, an estimated 277,800 people completed an apprenticeship in England which is a staggeringly high number of people.

What is an Engineering Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are nationally-recognised qualifications that are specialised in certain fields such as engineering. It’s an alternative to university that puts you directly into the workplace of your choosing to gain practical first-hand experience instead of studying in a classroom and listening to lectures.

Essentially, it’s combining a full-time job with study. Engineering apprentices typically work for around 30 hours a week for 30 weeks a year. The time is divided between learning practical work skills to help you contribute to the workplace while also working towards an engineering diploma. Engineering apprenticeships are available to people from the age of 16 as long as they are not in full-time education. Entry requirements can also depend on the employer, so it’s important to check vacancy pages.

What Makes an Engineering Apprenticeship Worth My Time?

As mentioned before, a lot of people are conditioned to think that university is the safest route to landing yourself a good job. However, the reality is completely different from that. When it comes to disadvantages, going to university has many. There’s the crippling student debt, the courses that last several years, the lack of real work experience (unless it’s specified in the course) and also the lack of individual attention.

In comparison, an apprenticeship doesn’t come with many disadvantages at all. In fact, its far more engaging because you have the opportunity to engage in real work-related situations, gain experience in the engineering industry and also receive insight into what a fully-fledged career in engineering could offer you. The practical working experience offered by an engineering apprenticeship is far more valuable than the theoretical situations described in a university course, and gaining familiarity with the industry can help you unlock networking opportunities to find a job in the future.

Here’s a list of the advantages that you can expect when getting on board with an engineering apprenticeship:

  • Gain practical work experience while working towards a diploma

  • Earn a salary between £3.90 to £8.21 an hour depending on your age

  • Land a job in the engineering industry without the stress of a student loan

  • Take advantage of networking opportunities

  • Work together with experts in the industry and gain valuable knowledge and insights

It’s easy to see why engineering apprenticeships are on the rise thanks to all of the advantages it offers as an alternative to university. For more information, please view our Engineering Recruitment Agency’s current jobs to fully understand the roles that are available once you have finished your apprenticeship.

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