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Careers Column 9: Why do your apprenticeship through a college?

16 August 2017

Throughout the summer our expert Advice Team is running a special Careers Column in the Gloucester Citizen, Gloucestershire Echo and Forest Citizen, offering advice to young people and their parents on the important factors to consider when making decisions about 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 every Wednesday.

Read the full article below or click on the image to see it as it appears in the newspaper.

Why do your apprenticeship through a college?

By Tracy Toyne, Advice and Guidance Coordinator

There has never been a better time to become an apprentice. Up to 28,000 apprenticeship vacancies are available at any given time across a wide and expanding range of industries and job roles. Of course, the main appeal is the fact you are essentially a paid employee, learning job-specific skills while gaining a nationally recognised qualification.

However, embarking on an apprenticeship should not be taken lightly. Travelling to and from work and doing a full time job, as well as studying can be daunting, particularly at 16 or 17. But it can also be very rewarding, and having the support of a Further Education College throughout the process can help you get the most out of the experience. Here’s why…

1:1 Support

A great place to start is the one-to-one support you receive as an apprentice. At Gloucestershire College, all our staff are highly qualified industry experts. You will be allocated a dedicated Apprenticeship Trainer, who will visit you in the workplace to complete assessments, monitor your progress and talk to you and your employer. They’ll be available to help you through any difficult times, as apprenticeships can be demanding, especially when it comes to adjusting to the sudden requirement to juggle a job with college work.

You’ll also have the benefit of being a Gloucestershire College student, with access to support from the Gloucestershire College Advice and Learning Support Teams, as well as Student Services.

Personalised training

The College can help to find the best apprenticeship for you, by matching your skills and abilities with the right apprenticeship vacancy and the right employer. It is the job of the College to then ensure that your training fits your personal requirements, and that it offers the skills you need for the job you are doing.

You can expect to be given advice and guidance in preparation for your interview and help with your CV writing, to ensure you are presenting yourself in the most positive way.

National standard qualifications

All apprenticeships offered by Gloucestershire College satisfy national qualification standards, and are thoroughly vetted by the Government regulator. This means when you achieve your qualification it is widely recognised within the industry.  

College life

Doing your apprenticeship through a college means you have access to high quality, industry standard facilities and learning resources, so you can get first hand experience of the latest technology without any expense. At Gloucestershire College our modern facilities include libraries kitted out with iMacs and PCs, sports facilities, canteens, restaurants and hair and beauty salons offering discounted prices.

Career progression

Because apprenticeships train you in the skills employers want, they give you a strong chance or remaining in employment once you complete your qualification. In fact, 9 out of 10 Gloucestershire College apprentices stay with the same employer after they complete their apprenticeship, with 98% receiving a pay rise.

Apprentices have the opportunity to progress from intermediate and advanced levels (equivalent to GCSE & A-Level) all the way through to the newer Higher Apprenticeships, which are equivalent to a degree. On average, individuals with advanced apprenticeships earn between £77,000 and £117,000 more over their lifetime than those with Level 2 qualifications.

Knowledge and experience

Many colleges have an Apprentice Matching Service, and here at Gloucestershire College we work with more than 650 of Gloucestershire’s best known businesses to offer apprenticeships across 17 industries. Our focus is on shaping students to meet real business needs, and we have a lot of experience with all kinds of businesses.

Learning that Works

If you’re not sure what apprenticeship you’d like to do, you can explore apprenticeship career paths and view our latest vacancies at

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

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Ofsted has rated us good.

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

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