2021 has continued to be a trying year for students and teachers alike. Students have had to adapt to a changing learning environment and assessment styles. Despite these challenges, 2021 has still seen a 4% increase in university applications.
Despite this increase, the degree and higher apprenticeship sector has particularly blossomed. This sector has seen a 25% rise of applicants and this increase is with good reason. A growing number of students are realizing that university is not the only route to a successful career.
Neil Bates, Managing Director at apprenticeship and skills specialist Seetec Outsource is not surprised with this growing trend. He states that “the growth in higher apprenticeships means there are more opportunities than ever to start earning straight away while developing your learning and gaining qualifications and vital experience in the workplace”.
Ben Millian is a 20 year old student from Mirfield, West Yorkshire who gained good A Level grades. However, despite most of his friends opting for the university route, he was determined to find an apprenticeship. One reason behind his determination? “I didn’t want to sit in lectures, I wanted to take the next step and use the experience of an apprenticeship to gain skills,” Ben says.
Luckily, Ben was able to secure an ocean freight exports apprenticeship with none other than DHL Global Forwarding (UK) Ltd. After successfully completing his apprenticeship and gaining a distinction, Ben now works in air and ocean exports and is hoping to progress to a management role.
“Personally, I believe I’ve made the right choice,” he said. “I am happy for my friends getting their degrees, it’s a great achievement. But they now have to find jobs and start their careers.” The university route is not something that will be the perfect fit for everyone. Trying to identify which path would suit your learning style the most will help with making your final decision.
Ben even has some advice for those still weighing up their next steps. “I would say to school leavers, don’t just focus your research on universities, give as much attention to apprenticeships. Employers benefit from having an apprentice too, so it’s worth contacting companies to find out about opportunities.” It can be easy to focus largely on your UCAS application and attending various university open days. However, having this balance as Ben advises will allow you to get a clearer idea of what both options involve.
Ben also reminds us of the importance of researching the requirements of your future career. “It’s important to keep your options open and look at what career you’d like to go into and whether it requires a degree. Not everyone will get the results they want, and an apprenticeship is a great option to start your career.”
For more information about apprenticeships, see https://seetec.co.uk/services/education-and-skills/ or https://www.gov.uk/become-apprentice