It is possible to boost your career prospects by committing to a work based learning scheme; most notably involving apprenticeships within a particular business sector, work based learning provides valuable experience of the workplace alongside part-time academic study. As an alternative to full time education after 16, work based learning can enable people to gain qualifications while working in a chosen career, and can be supplemented by taking short training courses and other work basedlearning programs.
In terms of apprenticeships, it’s possible to improve your career by focusing on a sector that you want to build a career in, or gain more experience of – these sectors can include everything from health and social care to team leadership and management, and can be completed as courses carried out while working for an employer. Apprenticeships are available for those aged 16 and over, and are assessed through ongoing modules within a QCF framework.
Depending on the level of qualifications you want to reach, an apprenticeship can last between 1 and 4 years, and can be taken from Intermediate, which is roughly equivalent to 5 GCSE passes, through to Higher qualifications equivalent to NVQ Level 4 and Foundation Degrees. While learning on the job, those aged 16-18 receive £2.60 an hour for 30 hours a week, and the National Minimum Wage after the age of 18.
You can also take a number of short courses to bolster your education while continuing to work; there are many different providers for these kinds of courses, which can include gaining qualifications in food safety, teaching in life long learning, and first aid and leadership skills; often these schemes canbe full or part funded by employers looking to improve the training levels of their employees.
The main advantage, then, of work based learning is that you can maintain regular work while still building up your skills and qualifications; if you’re not suited to full time academic study, or want to get into work as soon as possible, then work based learning initiatives like Apprenticeships can give you a strong foundation in a particular profession, and experience that you can translate into a long term career if you decide to continue after you receive qualifications.
The opportunity to move onto more qualifications, foundation degrees, and short courses, as well as the potential to take up a new work learning scheme in another sector, means that you can give yourself an alternative training path to full time education and university; doing so can help you to become more attractive to employers, and can provide stability if you’re struggling to find full timework elsewhere. In this way, it’s worth checking online for training providers and employers that provide apprenticeships, while taking advantage of local job fairs to see what kinds of businesses and qualifications you can target.