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National Apprenticeship Week

Well, what a week! On the 14th – 18th March, hundreds of events took place across England, the national apprenticeship minimum wage is to rise by 10p an hour, and more than 31,000 pledges were made – all to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) 2016!

Every year, a whole week is dedicated to apprentices and their employers to showcase the amazing benefits they offer for young people, businesses and the economy. NAW 2016 was the biggest yet, and people up and down the country didn’t disappoint in helping to celebrate apprenticeships!

In this day and age, apprenticeships are totally different from what they were like 15, 10 or even five years ago – but some people just don’t believe this. Ready to bust some myths? Read on…

Apprenticeships are just low-skilled, cheap labour

This is far from the truth! Apprenticeships are a huge investment by both employers and the Government and they contribute far more than people imagine. For every £1 the Government spends on apprenticeships, around £26 is added to the economy – impressive, eh?

You can only do an apprenticeship in manual work

Of course not! There are more than 1500 different job roles in some 170 industries! From plumbing, journalism or fashion design, to commercial law, marketing and childcare, there is literally something for everyone.

Apprenticeships are a second-class option and don’t let you progress

Apprenticeships are just as good as college or university – they offer a range of qualifications at different levels. Starting from Level 2 (GCSE) right up to Level 7 (Bachelor’s or master’s degree).

And since the week was all about celebrating apprenticeships, here are four success stories to keep you feeling inspired – whether you’re a current apprentice or thinking of becoming one.

Jamie Oliver

He left school with just two GCSEs and decided college wasn’t for him. He completed a couple of apprenticeships in various restaurants in London and, 20 years on, he’s worth a whopping £150 million, a global celebrity and owns a lot of restaurant chains!

Sir Alex Ferguson

Ferguson started his working life as an apprentice tool-maker. He then went on to become the manager of one of the world’s biggest football clubs, Manchester United! He said “It was only when you had the opportunity to have an apprenticeship did you realise the long-term benefit”.

Karren Brady

Famous for her role in The Apprentice (what a coincidence!), Brady started her working career as an advertising apprentice at Saatchi & Saatchi. She then went on to join Sport Newspapers where she became the director at just 20 years old!


Just like the three above, this could be you! Take the leap and have a look at apprenticeships – you never know, it could be the best decision you ever make!

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