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15 reasons to become an apprentice

Apprenticeships have become increasingly more popular and successful in the last few years, but what are the key advantages of taking this route?

1. Earn while you learn

You will earn a wage and learn the skills needed to be successful in your chosen career and avoid paying tuition fees. Apprenticeship salaries tend to range from £100 to £200 per week and businesses may also support you with transport costs. But, did you know, we offer a FREE coach service for our students that operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Each route will operate in the morning in order to get you into College before lessons start and a return service will operate from Old Mill Lane campus at the end of the day.

2. Gain knowledge and transferable skills

You will work alongside experienced members of staff who will pass on their knowledge to you. Apprentices also learn valuable skills such as teamwork, communication and problem solving, which are transferable into any other role.

3. You will be job-ready and have experience

You will learn the skills, knowledge and behaviours that your employer feels are the most relevant to your job role, making you more competitive and employable. Apprentices are immediately immersed in their job, learning industry-specific skills, acquiring experience by working on real tasks and gaining an understanding of the sector and its priorities.

4. There’s so much choice…

Apprenticeships have been designed to provide the right skills for any individual in any career.

Barnsley College offers over 70 apprenticeship programmes in a wide range of industry sectors including Accountancy; Business; Catering and Hospitality; Childcare and Education Professions; Construction; Computing and Digital; Engineering; Hair and Beauty; Health, Science and Social Care Professions; Management; Sport; Travel and Tourism; and Warehousing and Logistics. We’re sure we’ll have the apprenticeship for you!

Apprenticeships are available on three levels:
Intermediate – a Level 2 qualification equivalent to five GCSE grades 4 to 9* or Level 2 NVQ or Level 2 Diploma

Advanced – a Level 3 qualification equivalent to A Levels or Level 3 NVQ or Level 3 BTEC Diploma/Certificate or T Level (Technical qualification)

Higher – Either a Level 4 or 5 qualification equivalent to HNC or HND, Foundation Degree.

The level of apprenticeship you will start at will depend on your apprenticeship job role and your prior qualifications and experience.

5. Boost your career prospects

Apprentices report various benefits of learning in the workplace, with 90% staying in employment once they’ve completed their apprenticeship and 92% saying their career prospects had improved*. Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to start your career and develop skills within the workplace. * Education and Skills Funding Agency 2018

6. Apprenticeships are not just for 16 year olds

Anyone living in England who is over 16 years old and not in full-time education can apply to be an apprentice. There is no maximum age limit of starting a course, so whether you’re 18 or 60, you can become an apprentice.

7. Get support from your employer and trainer

With an apprenticeship, you will get lots of support from your employer and work colleagues, along with support from your trainer. You will have one-to-one support sessions to learn about all aspects of your chosen sector.

8. Build your contacts

Being in a workplace with lots of different age groups and people allows you to grow your confidence by networking, whether that’s simply by creating a LinkedIn account, attending industry events or just conversing with your colleagues.

9. Enjoy student discounts

Apprentices are entitled to many of the same discounts as College students with their student card. It gives many discounts in-store and online, helping your hard earned money to go further. Check out our Student Life pages for more information.

10. You could be entitled to a bursary

First year apprentices living in Barnsley could be entitled to claim a grant worth up to £500 from the Stanley Race Bursary Fund. This money could be used to pay for professional tools or equipment; clothing or uniforms for work, including interview wear; books and study equipment; or travel expenses (Eligibility criteria applies).

11. We are an award-winning provider

Many of our apprentices have won awards, such as our Level 4 Data Analyst Apprentices who won awards at the Shropshire Council Virtual Apprenticeship Awards 2021. With expert tutors and trainers, high levels of support and strong relationships with local and national employers, the College has an excellent reputation for delivering apprenticeships.

12. Apprentices get access to all of the facilities available at the College

Apprentices typically spend four days a week in the work place and only one day a week in College, however apprentices can still access Additional Learning Support (ALS) and the state-of-the-art facilities available at the College. You can also use the award-winning Health and Wellbeing Centre and GAINSpace. If fitness is your thing, you could join Barnsley Sport Academy or Honeywell Sports Village. Did we mention, we’ve got some great food and drink outlets including our very own Starbucks, located in the Atrium of the Old Mill Lane campus.

13. Don’t be put off by having to apply for a job

We know applying for a job and having an interview can be daunting, but don’t be put off by this. Our Job Shop can support you to write a CV, apply for apprenticeship positions and improve your interview skills.

If you want to be an apprentice and don’t have a job:

  • We can help you find suitable employment. We offer informal CV Writing and Interview Techniques Workshops in our Job Shop.
  • Search our Apprenticeship Vacancies page to see what vacancies we’ve currently got available. These vacancies are updated frequently, so keep checking to see the current listings.

If you’re already employed and want to gain a recognised qualification: Ask your employer to contact our Business Development Team by calling 01226 216 166 or emailing: employer@barnsley.ac.uk to find out more.

14. You can start an apprenticeship any time

If an apprenticeship is what you’re looking for, then we’re here to support you through the application process. Remember, if you’re currently in Year 11, you’ll need to apply for jobs that start after the last Friday in June. If you’ve left school already, then you can apply for a position now.

15. Apprentices love apprenticeships

Don’t take our word for it. Hear what our students say:

Last updated: 22nd May 2023

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