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For the younger generation who are unsure about what pathway they should take when it comes to choosing their next steps, an apprenticeship can offer a great step onto the career ladder.

There are, however, many factors to consider before enrolling onto an apprenticeship such as, the apprenticeship wage, how much you will be earning once you qualify in that sector, the type of apprenticeship you do (the level you will qualify at) and the location i.e London apprenticeships will pay higher than apprenticeships in the Midlands.

Shedding more light on the topic of apprenticeships, the best paying industries and expert advice before considering taking this step, Simon Bell, Founder of Careermap gives his thoughts below:

5 key factors to consider before applying for an apprenticeship

1.       Do your research, take time to find out all of the facts

Before making the decision to enrol onto an apprenticeship, take time to think about what industry you are interested in, begin with making a list of your passions, what interests you, what skills do you have that make you stand out from the crowd and ultimately, what do you enjoy doing.

Taking time to thoroughly research apprenticeships that you think could suit you and your skill set, will ensure you know all the facts before committing to something to end up not enjoying.

2.       Think about the commute time

If the commute is an hour away and you have to take a bus, train and then walk 20 mins before you start your day, is this really going to be a sensible option long term? Try to be realistic about how far you will be willing to travel on your commute, impressions count so you want to avoid being late each day because your commute takes so long!

3.       Money talks

Earning a salary whilst on your apprenticeship is certainly a perk of choosing this route of extended education. Apprenticeships allow you to have a taste of what it’s like to have a full-time career but the salary isn’t for everyone. The National minimum wage for an apprenticeship if £4.30 per hour and you will be expected to complete day to day tasks given by your employer as well as any additional course work set as part of your apprenticeship.The main takeaway is to consider is how much money you will be earning once you qualify, in the long term, apprenticeships can offer employees a fantastic salary with many work perks and employee benefits such as great pension schemes, workdays out and extended holidays.

4.       Is the industry the right fit for you

If you love numbers, problem solving or working in a fast-paced environment, securing an apprenticeship in banking, IT or Engineering could be the right fit for you.Alternatively, if you enjoy working with people, have a strong business mindset, have a competitive edge and networking potential, an apprenticeship in business, legal or health care could be the perfect fit for you. Although its good to match an apprenticeship to your skill set or strongest attributes, you need to find an industry that interests you and that you are passionate about.

5.       A few of the best paying apprenticeships right now

Banking is currently the number one industry in the UK offering people some of the best designed apprenticeships that can lead to very well-paid jobs in the long term. With an average starting salary of £23,000 (depending on location and company), the scope for salaries to increase post apprenticeships is monumental.Each banking apprenticeship is different but, on the whole, apprentices will spend a lot of time doing real banking whilst receiving on the job training.

The structure of the apprenticeship will depend on which level of apprenticeship you have enrolled in, for example with a level 3 apprenticeship you could train to be a mortgage advisor or with a level 2 apprenticeship you could qualify to be a financial services customer adviser.  Moving away from finance, there are practical apprenticeships such as plumbing, carpentry or becoming an electrician which offer great salaries and on the job training. Best suited to people who enjoy more practical tasks, these types of apprenticeships can create great career pathways and even allow for employees to become self-employed and run their own companies.  

Overall, there is an apprenticeship out there for everyone no matter what your passion is. Make sure you take time to do the research, write down the pros and cons of each option, talk to employers / employees to find out what its like to work for the company and remember, if an apprenticeship doesn’t feel like the right pathway for you right now, there are plenty of additional options which can be explored.

Simon Bell, Founder of Careermap

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