I believe the opportunity to study alongside my work experience has given me the best of the two opportunities. It means I can boost my technical knowledge and learn new academic skills whilst having an immersive experience in the workplace. I believe this makes for more employable individuals who, come the end of the apprenticeship, are ready to step right into a role in industry with a knowledge of the environment and the technicalities that make it work.
National Apprenticeship Week is a great time to shine the limelight on the plethora of impressive young talent the UK has within its apprentices across all industries. Quite often apprenticeships are overlooked for more 'favoured' routes, such as university, as they are perceived as being only for manual jobs, or being for those who could not get into university. I have come across these views myself since undertaking an apprenticeship and starting to make the decision at school, all I can express is my strong disagreement with these views. Yes, you can still complete apprenticeships in the manual trades but now with the rise of advanced and higher/degree apprenticeships they are fast being proven a creditable way to carve a career in a broad range of industries. I think it is important to broadcast the voice of apprentices during NAW and the companies that employ them to help dispel the myths and show apprenticeships for the brilliant opportunity they are.