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Careers Column 2 - Apprenticeships explained

13 July 2016

Throughout the summer our expert Advice Team is running a special Careers Column in the Gloucester Citizen, Gloucestershire Echo, Stroud Life and Forest Citizen, advising parents on how to help their children make the right choice for their education and future careers.

If you didn't catch it in the paper, don't worry - we will be posting the articles here on the GC news page each week on a Wednesday.

Week 2 - Apprenticeships explained

Click the image to view the published article or read it in full below:

 Gc Careers Columns 2016 Week 2 Full

Book an appointment with our impartial Advice and Guidance Team at any of our main campuses in Cheltenham, Gloucester and the Forest of Dean by calling 0345 155 2020.

Apprenticeships explained

By Paul Halling, Advice and Guidance Coordinator

Apprenticeships are often the centre of discussion in schools, colleges and now universities when considering the destinations of students, and there is little doubt that they will play an increasingly important part in tackling future skills shortages in the UK.

Across the South West and Gloucestershire there are significant skills shortages in specific industries, so it is important to recognise and understand what these apprenticeships actually are, how they can be accessed and how they can work towards helping local businesses and individuals to grow and prosper.

Our current government believes that apprenticeships have a positive economic impact and they appear at the forefront of its thinking. Last year it set an ambitious target to create three million apprenticeships by the year 2020, and part of this Vision 2020 is for young people to see apprenticeships as a high quality and prestigious path to successful careers. This should also be aimed at parents and guardians, as they are usually the major influence on their son or daughter’s decisions.

Image representing Careers Column 2 - Apprenticeships explained


 What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a real job with training which allows people aged 16 and over to earn while they learn, in order to a nationally recognised qualification. Vision 2020 defines it as a job in a skilled occupation which:

  • requires substantial and sustained training, lasting a minimum of 12 months and involving at least 20% off-the-job training;
  • develops transferable skills, and English and maths, to progress careers;
  • leads to full competency and capability in an occupation, demonstrated by the achievement of an apprenticeship standard; and
  • trains the apprentice to the level required to apply for professional recognition, where this exists.

According to the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) apprenticeships are available in over 1,500 job roles, across more than 170 industries, with over 25,000 vacancies available online at any one time.

Image representing Careers Column 2 - Apprenticeships explained



Benefits of apprenticeships

  • Over 85% of students stay in full-time employment, 70% with the same employer.
  • Higher apprenticeships offer a debt-free route to a degree.
  • Nearly a quarter of all former apprentices are promoted within 12 months.
  • 1/5 of apprentices progress on to higher education at college or university.
  • Higher apprentices can expect increased earnings of around £150k over their lifetime.

How to apply?

An apprenticeship application should be approached in the same way you would a job; a CV, online application skills, cover letter writing experience and awareness of interview techniques are all useful tools which can help land that desired apprenticeship, especially those where competition is high.

Useful websites for apprenticeships and information, advice and guidance include:

Gloucestershire College advertises all apprenticeship vacancies online at:

Whichever pathway your child decides to choose, the GC Advice Team is here to help. Email or call 0345 155 2020 for independent advice and guidance.


Why Gloucestershire College?

We have a lot of experience offering Apprenticeships and work-related training. We have industry-standard facilities and experienced teaching staff which provide the ideal complement to work-based learning.

We are here to help

0345 155 2020

90% of students would recommend GC and 95% said that the teaching on their course was good.

Ofsted has rated us good.

  • We offer industry relevant facilities
  • Our lecturers are passionate subject specialists
  • Employers value our students' skills

We'll look after you. We have dedicated teams to help you and a great Learning Mentor scheme.