Gillian Keegan

Gillian Keegan at Gloucestershire LiftOff 2020

I attended the Gloucestershire Jobs, Skill and Apprenticeships LiftOff 2020 event at Kingsholm Stadium on 11th September 2020.

The event demonstrated what amazing jobs and apprenticeships are available in our county. There is an energetic start-up scene and many large companies who have some awesome opportunities on our doorstep.

Although we are going through a turbulent time currently, some companies and industries continue to prosper and hire, think construction, think accountancy, think manufacturing or engineering.

It was a fabulous event showcasing the array of Gloucestershire businesses on our doorstep and I met the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills at the Department for Education, Gillian Keegan.
Gillian was approachable, inspirational and impressive and even better she was an apprentice herself, so she completely gets it. (Photograph above!)

There were so many organisations of all shapes and sizes offering interesting and challenging apprenticeships and it’s an area that is really misunderstood, so I wanted to explain how awesome apprenticeships are and give an update as to what they look like in 2020!

Please check out the www.glosliftoff.co.uk website and you will find out where the opportunities are, particularly if you check out the seminars here https://www.glosliftoff.co.uk/seminars and check out the video resources too! We already know Gloucestershire is a great place to live but it is also a great place to work. We have such a rich employment landscape including manufacturing, engineering, cyber, tech, creative industries, construction, hospitality, tourism, health and wellbeing.

So here are 10 reasons why apprenticeships are absolutely fabulous.

1. Apprenticeships are simply an alternative route into skilled employment. They are a great way to earn while you learn, gain vital work experience and set yourself on a fast-track to a successful career.
They are not for people who didn’t do well at school, GCHQ, BAE Systems, EDF, Raytheon, Suntory, Sarco Spirax are all looking for apprentices and you can do a higher apprenticeship which means you finish up with a degree.

2. Apprenticeships are now available in over 1,500 occupations across 170 industries, ranging from nuclear to fashion, law, banking and defence, not just available in manual industries.

3. Apprenticeships are really high quality. Employer trailblazers, a group of employers that have come together to design new apprenticeship standards, have also been involved in developing new apprenticeship standards so that apprentices can be sure that they are learning the skills that employers need.

4. Apprenticeships offer a ladder of opportunity. There are four levels
• Intermediate level (level 2)
• Advanced apprenticeships (level 3)
• Higher apprenticeships (level 4 and above)
• Degree apprenticeships (level 5 to 7)
More and more people are choosing apprenticeships as an alternative to university while nearly fifth of advanced apprenticeships progress to higher education over time following the apprenticeship

5. Apprentices must receive at least the national minimum wage (currently £4.15 per hour for 16-18 year olds and those aged 19 plus in the first year of their apprenticeship), though many employers choose to pay more.
In the long-term, individuals with an advanced apprenticeship earn between £77,000 and £117,000 more over their lifetime than similar individuals with Level 2 qualifications. While those completing a higher (degree level) apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime.
At the Gloucestershire Lift-Off event, an organisation was looking for facilities management apprentices and they would be earning £30000.

6. Apprenticeships are full time paid jobs where you can learn and earn and many high quality, prestigious companies offer them. According to Department for Education research, a quarter of former apprentices (23%) secure a promotion within 12 months of qualifying and the retention rate is very high too

7. From August 2020 to January 2021, any firm that hires a new young apprentice aged 16 to 24 will receive £2000, while those that hire new apprentices aged 25 and over will be paid £1500.

8. Apprenticeships are for EVERYONE, not just young people. Apprenticeships are available to people of all ages making them a great option for anyone looking to change career, upskilling or reskilling to secure a new role or re-enter the job market after having taken time out for a break.

9. Apprenticeships can lead to permanent roles with 90% staying in employment after their course ends and 67% stay with the same employer.

10. Your employability increases massively, you will have been on a structured programme, you will have built a network while earning and learning, and you can do an apprenticeship in areas where skills are short, such a cyber security and telecoms.

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