Category Archives: Apprenticeships

University graduates embark on earlier chase for jobs

By , education editor at The Guardian

” The graduate class of 2012 has made a record number of applications and begun looking for jobs earlier than ever, a survey of over 17,000 final-year students shows.

Applications for graduate jobs in investment banking have returned to their highest level since the start of the credit crunch in 2008, the High Fliers Research survey finds.

Desire to take time off or go for a gap year is at an all-time low – just 12% plan to do this. The survey, of students at 30 universities, estimates the volume of applications has risen by 40% in two years.

A record 42% of students made applications for a graduate job by the end of October in their final year, while 61% had applied by the end of February, compared with 59% last year.

More than a third of students started researching their career options in the first year of their studies.”

Is this the end of the infamous ‘gap year’? What about the choices students are making in relation to the course studied? It wasn’t so long ago that a gap year was seen as almost a right before settling down and getting a ‘real job’. More often than not nowadays depending on your career choice it would make more sense to focus on getting relevant industry experience or perhaps an apprenticeship to get ahead.

What are your thoughts on the taking a ‘gap year’ – important or not?

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Big increase in apprenticeships due to ‘striking rise’ in trainees over 25

“Research shows apprentices over 25 up from 36,000 to 121,000, but Labour says coalition is failing to focus on key skills

The analysis reveals a 10% increase in teenage apprentices this year, compared with the academic year which started in September 2009. Teenage apprentices rose from 93,700 to 102,900. There was a 21% rise in apprentices aged 19-24, from 85,100 to 102,800. But the number of apprentices aged over 25 nearly quadrupled, from 36,300 to 121,100. Youth unemployment hit record levels earlier this year, and latest figures show around 917,000 people aged 16-24 are out of work. The research, commissioned by Labour, shows that the biggest increases in apprenticeships are in health and social care and retail.

Gordon Marsden, shadow further education and skills minister, said: “For all the government’s warm words on apprenticeships, these statistics show they haven’t got to grips with the task of supporting business and creating an environment in which quality, long-term apprenticeships can flourish and support economic growth.”

The latest statistics, from the National Apprenticeship Service, show almost 90,000 employers offer apprenticeships to 491,300 workers in England. Companies hiring the most include BT, Capita Group, Tesco and McDonald’s.”

Read the article in full by Jeevan Vasagar & Jessica Shepherd by clicking here

Our View: While it is always good to see opportunities increased for people to gain qualifications whilst they are earning,  it is disappointing to see that apprenticeships lasting more than a year are decreasing. We wonder about the quality (and level) of any qualifications which last less than a year and the potential impact they will have on the apprentices’ future. Are businesses being provided with the appropriate support and guidance to ensure that apprentices actually have the real chance to future their chosen career and not just be used as ‘cheap labour’? What’s your view / experience of apprenticeships? Good, bad or indifferent – we’re interested in what you have to say…..