As a parent, you want your child to get the best possible start in their career. That’s why we’re keen to talk about the value of apprenticeships, which are work-based, government funded training programmes. We caught up with Judi Wheeler, JTL’s National Delivery Director, to discuss why apprenticeships are a great way for learners to gain practical, on-the-job experience and achieve a nationally recognised professional qualification.
At JTL we provide apprenticeships in the construction sector to help young people become electricians or heating and plumbing professionals. These jobs are essential to our economy and once qualified, learners will have a career for life.
Once learners have completed their apprenticeship, they can progress onto the next apprenticeship level with the same company, or with a different company should they so choose. They can also apply for a management course or apprenticeship after their initial qualifications, which will set them up for a team leader or management role with a much-improved salary. If it’s something that appeals to them, they could later go on to become self-employed.
Some people believe that apprenticeships lead to young people being stuck in the same career for life . In actual fact, apprenticeships offer transferrable skills which can give young people plenty of opportunities for progression and even the chance to move into a different role entirely. The latter is proving to be so popular that many businesses are integrating programmes to make the transition between roles even easier. Who knows? Your child could undertake an apprenticeship as a plumber and one day become a technical representative, water regulations inspector, expert witness, trainer or plumbing lecturer.
Exposure to the working world
Apprenticeships are ideal for young people who have a particular job sector or career in mind. They will be introduced to the world of work and treated like a regular member of staff in the business, picking up on-the-job skills while gaining valuable advice and guidance from their peers.
Ultimately, apprenticeships give young people a foot in the door and an increased chance of securing a job in their chosen industry. Research  shows that around 90% of apprentices stay in work on completion of their training and 71% of apprentices stay with the same employer.
Earn and learn
An apprenticeship is a paid job where a young person will always receive at least the national apprentice wage of £3.90 an hour (16 to 18-year-olds). First-year apprentices who are over 18 will also start off receiving £3.90 an hour. After completing their first year, their hourly earnings will increase to £6.15 (18 to 20-year-olds), £7.70 (21 to 24-year-olds) or £8.21 (25 and over).
Certain sectors pay as much as £300 a week, with some employers willing to pay more to attract the right learner. Apprentices will also gain a pay increase  as they progress through the apprenticeship levels and widen their skillset.
In contrast, university poses a major financial commitment that goes beyond tuition fees and living costs. A study by the Independent revealed that more than eight in 10 parents  of current students said they were financially supporting their child at university and nearly half of those said the overall cost was more than they expected. Polls found that parents’ contributions averaged at £360 a month, with expenses going towards accommodation, bills, study materials, outings and hobbies, and more.
Once qualified, the earning potential for apprentices in the building services engineering sector is huge – and they don’t have any student debt to worry about either. Plumbers  can earn anywhere between £25,000 and £40,000 per year in their mid-twenties, while the average annual income for a heating engineer  is £32,500, which is £5,000 more than the average UK salary. Top-earning heating engineers typically earn anything up to £60,000 a year – more than double the average UK salary.
The lifetime benefits  associated with gaining an apprenticeship at levels two (intermediate) and three (advanced) are significant, standing at between £48,000 and £74,000 for level two and between £77,000 and £117,000 for level three.
Plus, those who gain a higher-level apprenticeship could earn £150,000 more on average over their lifetime compared to those with a level three qualification, which is equivalent to two A Levels.
Above all else, an apprenticeship gives young people real-world experiences  and responsibilities, while encouraging pro-activeness and maturity. The qualifications learners will gain for their CV is also a huge benefit, and evidence of their abilities and experience.
Young people have never had as many post-16 education options as they do now, and we believe an apprenticeship is a great route to top jobs across all sectors. If your child is in the process of making their post-16 choices, we’d advise you encourage them to think carefully about how their skills, interests and ambitions can translate into their career.
At JTL, we’ve helped thousands of young people launch exciting careers in the building services engineering sector through apprenticeships. We train more apprentices than anyone else in the sector and pride ourselves in delivering high quality, work-based learning across over 100 centres throughout England and Wales.
Discover JTL’s range of apprenticeships and how to apply here.