JTL Blog

Waving goodbye to university? Try an apprenticeship instead

Woman walking away

After the buzz of the Christmas holidays and that much-needed time with friends and family back home, it’s no surprise that returning to university can be a struggle.

More and more students are choosing not to go back, with figures [1] released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) showing that 26,000 students in England who began studying for their first degree in 2015 did not make it beyond the first year.

Whether your course isn’t what you expected, you haven’t gelled with the people you’re living with or you’re just not a fan of the uni lifestyle, there’s still plenty of options to choose from.

A pathway to a skyrocketing career

One of these is an apprenticeship, which is an exciting way to earn while you learn. Apprentices gain valuable first-hand experience in the working environment while training for industry recognised qualifications and getting paid to do it all too.

JTL is one of the UK’s leading apprenticeship providers and we’re used to plenty of young people coming to see us at this time of year. We train approximately 8,000 apprentices annually to become highly skilled electricians, heating engineers and plumbers.

Ideal for people who enjoy hands-on activities, an apprenticeship is the practical way to get a career under your belt, while enjoying a very reasonable income and the security of a long-term profession.

No two days on the job are the same and best of all, apprenticeships offer fantastic opportunities for progression. If you’re highly motivated and keen to learn, you could start off by qualifying as a domestic/commercial/industrial plumber, gain your qualifications and then become a consultant or public health engineer.

Opportunities for women

Thought the Trades were just for men? What was once seen as a ‘man’s world’ has become a more level playing field and JTL has many female apprentices who are looking forward to gaining qualifications and starting their careers. Soon after qualifying, a number of the women who have trained with us have started their own companies too.

If you’re wondering whether people even want women in these roles, you’ll be pleased to know that the answer is a resounding yes. In a poll [2] by WaterSafe, the leading plumbing assurance scheme, it was found that 31% of people would prefer a female plumber to carry out work on their home and 59% would like more women to become professional trades people. Reasons given for this included:

37% feel safer with a woman

12% feel they wouldn’t be ripped off by a female

10% trust advice from a woman more than a man

10% feel a woman is less likely to patronise them

Even better still, 77% of the homeowners surveyed said the most important consideration is if the individual has the skills to do a good quality job, regardless of gender. 


Long-term benefits

With a JTL apprenticeship, you learn more than just a profession. Our fields are mentally and physically challenging, allowing you to develop your scientific knowledge, mathematical and manual abilities. You’ll also learn how to think creatively while solving problems and providing excellent levels of customer service. Whatever role you end up undertaking in the future, these are all incredibly worthwhile skills that you can use throughout your career.

Social perks

There’s no denying that one of the biggest appeals of going to university is the social life [3]. However, apprentices can enjoy all this and more, with many businesses organising nights out, team building activities and charity events. Plus, you’ll be able to meet so many new people, including other apprentices and graduates, and make lifelong friends.

Unlike university students, you’ll have the financial freedom to do whatever you want and get 20 days paid holiday leave and bank holidays. Even better still, with an NUS Apprentice extra card you can enjoy amazing savings on eating out, gym memberships and your favourite brands. Who wouldn’t want that?

Discover JTL’s wide range of exciting apprenticeships and how you can apply here. Or call our freephone number 0800 085 2308.

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