National Apprenticeship Week 2022

national apprenticeship week news

Apprenticeships are at the forefront of the UK’s Covid recovery plan and next week provides a great opportunity to get familiar with what is on offer across Greater Manchester.

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, Greater Manchester Higher is offering students, parents, and carers, the chance to find out more about the future of work and learning, as well as alternatives to university (see foot of this article).

Today’s apprenticeships have evolved considerably. There’s now a massive range of choice with over 1,500 roles available, many of which are specifically directed at occupations that are in demand or likely to grow.

We’ve seen progress in driving up the standards of apprenticeships, with greater consistency around assessment, the skills, behaviours, and knowledge an apprentice can expect to take away.

Around 80% of an apprenticeship is spent in the workplace, with the remaining 20% spent studying towards an industry-recognised qualification via a university, college, or a training provider. An apprentice has the same rights to sick pay entitlement, paid holidays, and a salary as any other employee.

And if you thought apprenticeships were just for 16-year-olds leaving school, then it’s time to take another look.

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships are options from age 18+ and provide a hands-on alternative to a full-time university degree. You will need to be on course to complete Level 3 qualifications such as A-Levels or BTECs.

They are offered by over 100 universities, across 17 different sectors. These are areas of industry where there is demand for employees with higher-level skills, something that has been exacerbated by both Brexit and Covid.

As well as routes into roles within Digital and Creative, Construction, Engineering, Legal and Finance, Engineering or ICT, an apprenticeship can also offer a path into teaching, healthcare professions, or the police.

The big ‘sell’ of a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship is that there are no tuition fees to repay. Compare that to the £40,000+ that many full-time undergraduates borrow to get through university.

However, these are not easy gigs. Securing a Degree Apprenticeship can prove difficult, with sixth form and college applicants often the minority in the applicant pool.  They can take upwards of 5 years to complete so there’s a need for a strong sense of commitment to both the role and the company. And while some firms will spend this time moving the apprentice around different parts of the business, others will be training for a specific role.

With so much to explain, it’s best achieved by reading this wonderful free-to-download guide, produced by UCAS and the National Apprenticeship Service.

  • To find out more about apprenticeships and the future of work and learning for young people in the region, join Ian McGarry (IAG Manager, GM Higher) in conversation with Matt Leigh (GM Learning Provider Network) at 6pm on either Tuesday 8th or Thursday 10th
  • Register here


Article written by Ian McGarry, GM Higher IAG Manager

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