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UK must realise benefits of on-the-job learning

Stuart Cavanagh

Apprenticships up, 509,400 UK apprenticeship schemes commenced in 2015/16, 9,500 more than the previous year. Between August 2015 and January 2016, more than 11,000 higher apprenticeship schemes started. From Stuart Cavanagh, Head of HR at Novus Property Solutions.

With 1 in 4 jobs going unfulfilled due to the UK skills shortage, industries look to apprenticeship schemes to fill the gaps. Novus Property Solutions explains why the company has a rich history of nurturing apprentices. Apprenticeship schemes are becoming increasingly popular as people look for more cost-effective, debt-free routes to gaining experience and full-time employment. Apprenticeship schemes are definitely becoming a firm favourite among young people.

Findings indicate a great surge in popularity: A report published by the House of Commons Library in November 2016 found that over 500,000 apprenticeships commenced in 2015/16, with a jump of almost 10,000 courses compared with the year previous. This suggests that, although a little over 500,000 people started university that same year (2015/16), apprenticeships are catching up at a considerable rate as attitudes towards practical learning improve.

Money is a clear concern, which is where apprenticeships gain the upper hand. As tuition fees are at an all-time high, an increasing number of people are looking to apprenticeship schemes as a way of furthering their prospects without the inevitable student debt. For a long time now, university has been almost a natural choice for young people. While higher education is still as popular as ever, apprenticeship schemes are truly growing in popularity with scores of people preferring on-the-job learning. 

The increasing rate of schemes becoming available can only mean good things for the industry. It feels like the UK is finally seeing the benefits of apprentices, and it’s been a long time coming. Apprentices come into a place of work with a brand new perspective, they’re often open to new ideas and are keen to learn. If apprenticeship schemes continue to grow at this rate, a new generation of tradespeople will be ready to step in to fill jobs belonging to a diverse range of industries.

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