As someone who knew that University wasn’t the route for me, I struggled with what to do after I’d finished my GCSEs. All my siblings had gone to university or taken a trades route but since neither option seemed something, I would benefit from I was stuck with what to do…

That’s when I saw apprenticeships, for me the biggest thing was earning money. As a young teenager, I’d only had part-time jobs that I’d hated but did for the money. Apprenticeships still gave me the money, but they gave me the option to have a job I loved, and work in an area that I found interesting.

As I finished my first apprenticeship, I was only one of my friends that was earning and learning at the same time, my friends struggled to earn money, do their studies and have a social life. Whereas those of us who had chosen to do an apprenticeship were learning and earning at the same time, so I had plenty of time to relax on the weekends or add in some extra revision.

Three mains things I wanted to highlight as benefits of apprenticeships are:

  • Earn while you learn – The biggest benefit for me was that I was getting the same or equivalent qualifications as everyone else but I’m earning while I’m doing it. I no longer need that bad part-time job mopping floors, I can do something I enjoy every day.
  • The Experience – The second benefit on a very long list was the experience I was getting; a lot of jobs nowadays ask for years of experience so for people coming out of college or university it’s tough when you’ve not had any. For me, I’ll have over 5 years’ experience when my friends are leaving university with none.
  • Hands-On – Every person has a different learning style, for me, I hate being talked at. Sitting in a classroom all day was not something I enjoyed, and I often felt myself zoning out because I just couldn’t concentrate. Doing an apprenticeship allows you to jump into the deep end straight away. Getting hands-on and learning your way.

If there’s one thing I’d recommend you do this year, just check out an apprenticeship, there are so many varieties and courses to choose from – they’ll be one for you.