Showing posts with label Apprentices. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Apprentices. Show all posts

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Practice beats theory – small and medium businesses value apprenticeships over degrees


Recent university graduates have to face the fact that their degrees don’t land as many job opportunities with potential employers as they used to. Read on to find out what the reasons are behind this downturn in the value of university qualifications.

Practice outweighs theory

According to research by Sandler Training, employers, predominantly small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have become more focused on the practical skills a potential new employee can bring to the table. This is purely because practical skills immediately deliver more tangible effects on a business.

The research also revealed university graduates are slightly less likely to be hired than those who have chosen the apprenticeship route.  Although the difference is marginal at present (51% vs. 49% in favour of apprentices), based on the responses of the surveyed SME’s, there’s an expected 20% rise in the hiring of apprentices over the next five years. At the same time, there’s only a mere 7% expected increase in the numbers of graduates hired.

What do students think?

Toni Pearce, NUS president, recently said: “An NUS poll of over 1,000 graduates found over half of them believing that ‘gaining experience’ is the main barrier to securing a job.”

A different poll by Ipsos MORI also revealed that youngsters in the UK think degree-level apprenticeships are better for future careers prospects than a traditional university degree. However, despite the growing popularity of vocational training paths, the majority of parents (56%) are more likely to encourage their children to take on a degree over an apprenticeship.

Do you want to avoid being rejected for having no work experience? Get hands-on with an IT apprenticeship and you’ll learn crucial skills, while you also earn money. Watch the following video by the National Apprenticeship Service to get a better idea of what you can achieve as an IT apprentice.

Apply now and kick-start your career

If you’re committed and not afraid to “get your hands dirty” we have tons of great opportunities for you. Visit Firebrand Apprenticeships to find out more about our programmes and the qualification you will get whilst working a paid, full-time role.

What Firebrand Apprentices said

  • “Loved it! Don’t want to leave. Enjoyed all of it, learned some great things.” – Timothy Rabson
  • “I feel that this has started to become the most rewarding educational experience I have had...The instructor makes lessons interesting, treats us like adults and respects us.” – Elizabeth MacKenzie
Learn more about Firebrand Apprenticeships and apply now.

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The “IT is for geeks” stereotype is damaging the UK economy


A decline in students taking GCSE and A-level computing, coupled with a booming technology sector, could stunt growth and damage the UK’s economy through an ever-widening skills gap.

The common misconception that “IT is for geeks” is stopping many pupils from pursuing a career within the digital industries, a report published last week by the UK Digital Skills Taskforce found.

The taskforce, announced by Ed Miliband in November last year, was set up to help close the IT skills gap found in the British workforce.

A 2013 report from 02 stated that around 745,000 additional workers with digital skills would be needed to meet demand between now and 2017.

The report - ‘Digital Skills for Tomorrow’s World’ – suggests that this massive IT skills gap is due to misconceptions of the digital workplace.

The perception that technology roles are for “geeks” is extremely damaging, the report found.

A new computing curriculum is set to be introduced September 2014, which will go a long way in addressing the issue, but the report warns that teachers need more support to help them prepare.

In addition to more funding for the new curriculum, the report calls for computing to become a fourth ‘core science,’ which would give pupils access to digital training up to 19 years of age.

The ultimate aim is to eliminate the UK’s IT skills gap. However, simply adjusting the curriculum for modern tech requirements isn’t enough; pupils need to be supported after secondary school by being made aware of the options available to them.

With 98% of all universities now charging the max tuition fees of £9000 a year, hundreds of students are now unable to pursue this form of higher education. And without a clear route to a career in IT, many pupils can be left feeling adrift.

IT Apprenticeships have made a huge difference in helping to solve this issue by providing an entry-point to a career in IT.   As well as helping to lessen the UK’s crippling digital skills gap, apprenticeships provide young people with their first opportunity to grow and learn within a real workplace.

There is tremendous support for IT apprenticeships from both government and commercial organisations. The Microsoft’s Apprentice of the Year awards, held this year at the House of Commons, helped highlight the difference these schemes can make to young people and the businesses they work for. One Firebrand Apprentice even claimed a prestigious Microsoft Apprentice of the Year award.

During the awards, Theresa May described how - “Apprenticeships are incredibly important in helping young adults to develop skills in the workplace. Apprenticeships are hands-on and so much more about understanding what the working environment is all about. 

An IT apprenticeship is a great alternative to university and a tremendous advantage for businesses in need of talented young employees. Apprenticeships allow students to earn-while-they-learn, avoid student debt and get certifications backed up with real work experience in a career they are interested in.

If you’re looking for a career in IT or want to learn more about Firebrand’s unique apprenticeship program, visit us here.

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.