The idea of starting a new career can be exciting, especially when you start considering the perks of earning your own money – from having the cash for buying the latest trainers to being able to afford the rent on your first place. But how do you land that perfect first job? And how do you persuade the employer that you are the right person for the role when you don’t necessarily have the experience in the industry you’re interested in.
Luckily, there’s a great way to get your foot in the door – apprenticeships. By entering a field as an apprentice, you won’t generally be expected to have any experience in your chosen field because you will be learning everything on the job. You’ll also have a job where you learn whilst you earn – so those new trainers and your first flat will be one step closer. If that sounds interesting to you, consider the following three in-demand occupational fields that you can enter as an apprentice:
1. Health Technicians and Technologists
During the next 10 years, there’s expected to be a phenomenal 24% growth in the number of jobs available for technicians and technologists in the healthcare industry. Although many of the higher-level jobs may require a degree, some of the positions can be entered via apprenticeship.
The title of this field may make it sound complicated, but it’s more related to the accuracy and analysis of data and records than health and medicine, so you won’t need to have a medical degree for most positions. However, if you don’t have a GCSE in maths you may need to brush up on your maths skills to prove competency during the job application process. If you found GCSE maths impossible (who didn’t!) you don’t have to re-do that course but can do a more practical work placed based qualification to improve your functional maths skills that are the same level but might be better if you learn better by applying things in real life situations.
2. Construction trade
Construction often has an unfairly bad rep and is another industry that will have an enormous number of challenging and well-paid roles available over the coming years.
The construction industry often struggles to recruit young people who see it as a dead-end job, dirty etc…But it’s actually a really exciting industry with great career prospects and very good salaries. There is lots of interesting work in the pipeline in this sector including the Government’s plan to build huge amounts of housing and big civil construction projects such as the HS2 railway and the construction of Heathrow’s third runway planned.
The industry urgently needs keen and talented young people to fill the roles that these projects will create. Whilst there are lots of what people see as the more traditional roles; such as bricklaying, plastering and tiling if that’s what you enjoy, there are also loads of more technical jobs, jobs where you’ll be in charge of the cutting edge technology that is increasingly being used in construction and also management positions – where you could be managing big teams of people, multi-million pound projects – or both.
Unlike many industries who are relatively new to apprenticeships, the construction industry has been offering apprenticeships for hundreds of years and as a result, has a system that allows you to start an apprenticeship in most of the available areas.
As well as the salaries being good there is also often the opportunity to do overtime if you want, allowing people working in this industry to earn extra cash (to buy even more trainers, rent a much bigger flat . . . or even buy one!)
Once you’ve made your entry as an apprentice you can focus on rising in the ranks to fill the role of supervisor, contractor, or another position that takes your fancy.
3. Repair, maintenance, and installation positions
Similar to construction, this industry pays well, there are lots of positions available, and plenty of extra hours available if you want them. A good example of an apprenticeship position in this field would be “cable technician,” which is exactly what it sounds like – installing/uninstalling cables and related components at designated locations. This sort of career can take you around the country and you could expect a salary of £25,000+ PA once you are qualified.
Summarising the benefits of an apprenticeship
Aside from the obvious benefit of giving you a way to learn whilst you earn an entry to a lucrative and potentially life-long career, an apprenticeship also provides fantastic hands-on experience and can, in some cases, even allow you to gain a degree without the debt of studying full-time at the university.