To mark National Apprenticeship Week, Lucy Corcoran, Career Ready alumna from Manchester, and now a degree apprentice at Together Money, shares her five reasons why starting an apprenticeship work for young people.

As a young person, deciding which steps to take to get yourself into the career you want (if you’ve even got one in mind) can feel like a huge choice. When I joined Career Ready, my world of possibilities completely opened up when I discovered there were options besides studying at University full-time – such as apprenticeships.

After spending six weeks on my internship, I realised that working while learning was the right choice for me. And if you think this route could be right for you, here’s five ways you could benefit from an apprenticeship:

1. Learn valuable skills and industry experience.

You’ll gain invaluable on-the-job experience and benefit from professional mentoring from people who have a wealth of knowledge in your industry.

I really enjoy the process of continuous, hands-on learning, and I wanted to get stuck in and start building my career right away. So I began working as a Marketing Executive and attended University several days per month to study towards my degree.

2. Jump-start your career.

Apprenticeships can unlock doors. You’re immersed in the job every day, surrounded by opportunities to learn and progress, and it can put you further ahead in your career.

Having the chance to shadow various different projects and gain new skills can set you apart when applying for a new role. And it may even lead to other training opportunities or a promotion into a more senior position.

3. Earn while learning.

You’ll be getting paid for working whilst you’re learning, and degree apprenticeships even offer the opportunity to gain a full university degree without any of the debt. Need I say more?

4. Have a wide range of choices.

There’s probably still a misconception that apprenticeships are only available for jobs requiring skilled handwork. However, there’s a wide range of apprenticeships out there, covering everything from marketing to law.

My apprenticeship also allowed me to explore different career opportunities within my company. I’ve been able to move around the business and try my hand to different skills and tasks. I think it can broaden your perspective and give you a feel for different roles and what you may find most fulfilling.

5. Grow your network, and get your foot in the door.

Being an apprentice allows you to meet many different people who have relevant connections to your industry. This can include through the company you’re working at as well as those you meet while completing your course (such as other apprentices). Developing these relationships is a huge benefit and can prove advantageous when moving forward with your career.

But ultimately whatever you decide to do in life, an apprenticeship could open that first door into the world of work.

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