National Apprenticeship Week
This week marks the 7th Annual National Apprenticeship Week, designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they can have on both employers and employees.
Apprentices are new and inexperienced members of the labour markets. For this reason, an apprentice may want to consider seeking protection through a trade union.
The Benefits of Apprenticeship Schemes
Several organisations have pointed out the benefits of apprenticeships to those who hire them, and those who are hired.
To support the awareness week, thinktank Demos
produced a report suggesting that apprentice levels should be raised by up to 300,000. This would allow the UK to compete with other G20 countries, increasing productivity and reducing youth unemployment.
An apprenticeship can bring in £214 per week for a company, according to the Demos report, this can lead to increased wages and company profits.
Youth unemployment is a serious issue in the UK. Many people have heard about NEETS (16-24 year olds who are Not in Education, Employment, or Training). Apprenticeships can help young people escape the vicious cycle of youth unemployment.
We've all experienced the frustration of seeing a job vacancy requiring experience you don't have, only to find nobody wants to give you the experience to get a job! An apprenticeship is an opportunity to get the experience needed to move up the career ladder. They often don't require any experience whatsoever since they are an entry level job. Having several years of unemployment on a CV can be very difficult to explain at a job interview.
Word of Warning
Apprenticeship schemes are an excellent way of getting started with a career, building up experience and keeping occupied. However, if you don't have much experience in a working environment and are on an apprentice wage, you can be vulnerable to several issues, including:
- Bullying and discrimination
- Being pressured into doing something you shouldn't eg breaking health and safety laws
- Your own health and safety
- Getting the proper training
- Costs arising from legal problems
Trade union membership can often help with issues such as these. Unions have a lot of influence to negotiate fair pay, and can help ensure that you have time off for holiday, as well as studying and training, which is invaluable as an apprentice.
If you are considering joining a union here are some useful links below: