Has your child identified the subjects to study? Earned a place in a university? Are you considering the type of work that would be suitable for them and recalling how you, after a certain undergraduate haze, snatched at a degree and emerged to follow a career path that is reminiscent of your current occupation two to three decades later? Unfortunately, when it comes to tertiary learning and the employment world, most of the models that were used in traditional settings are no longer fit for purpose. The undeviating progression from the school leaving certificate, to university, and eventually starting a career is being deconstructed.
Today, several ways of gaining employment in some of the leading occupations exist, some of which do not require a degree at all. On the other hand, education is becoming a life-long process. High-achieving students are presented with the opportunity to choose between a degree from a tertiary institution that leaves them in college loan debt or joining an apprenticeship program that leaves them with money in the bank and a three-year career head start. This article highlights the five primary reasons why an apprenticeship could be a good idea for your child.
What is an Apprenticeship?
An Australian apprenticeship, which is widely identified as either an apprenticeship or traineeship is an educational journey that integrates remunerated on-the-job training and formal education with a recognised training institution. How do apprenticeships work? An apprenticeship is an organised preparation program that lasts for about three-and-a-half to four years. Before your child enters an apprenticeship program, he/she will be expected to secure employment because the training integrates practical exposure at work under the guidance of a suitable employer with off-the-job training offered by a Registered Training Organisation. If they complete the apprenticeship successfully, they are given a nationally-accredited certificate and on-the-job skills that are valued highly by employers. In most cases, apprenticeships allow your child to land full-time positions in the careers they are passionate about.
Apprenticeships are not just for tradespeople either, absolutely they are many wonderful apprentices available in traditional industries such as carpentry, construction, roofing, plumbing, electrical and mechanical type trades but you will be surprised at the range of qualifications and career paths that can be obtained via apprenticeships. Many careers have several options or pathways such as a degree version and an apprenticeship or traineeship version. It is well worth researching if there is more than one route to your chosen career field.
Over the past few months alone Apprenticeships Queensland has had positions available for apprentices in the following fields
Careers Available Via Apprenticeship:
- Business Admin
- Panel Beater
- Motorcycle Technician
- Fitter and Turner
- Cabinet Maker
- Commercial Cook
- Aged care worker
- Auto Mechanic
- Early Childhood Care
- Flooring Technician
- Greens Keeper
Why you should consider an Apprenticeship for your Child
Under apprenticeship, your child will not only benefit from the fact that most of the academic training is catered for by employers, but also they will be paid during their education. Apprentices are paid from the beginning of the program and are highly likely to receive salary increments as they attain specific standards of proficiency in select skills. Therefore, your child will not be forced to give up an income or take on the burden of a student loan in order to pursue tertiary learning such as a bachelor’s degree. Instead, an apprenticeship offers him/her a direct path into some of the best-remunerated and in-demand occupations in the market currently. As such, apprenticeships provide a valuable alternative for households that face the challenging issue of financing tertiary education or for the financially savvy student that recognises the benefit of the additional years of earning and ability to begin their adult life without the hindrance and responsibility of a large debt.
Relevant and Valuable Training
Apprenticeships usually work in tandem with learning institutions and enterprises/local businesses. For instance, employers inform instructors and students about what is expected of them to ensure that they have a position in future workforces, as well as the skills they need to develop. On the other hand, learning is structured in line with national sectoral benchmarks and tailored to address the requirements of the employer. As a parent, you will be sure that the education your child is receiving is balanced with a mixture of classroom and workplace segments and that the skills they develop are tangible and valuable to prospective recruiters.
Timely Exposure to Careers and the Job Market
Through standard tertiary education curricula, career exploration is often addressed at a time which can be deemed as long overdue. Sometimes a student can get to the end of a 3-4 year degree programme only to realise it doesn’t lead to any real career prospects. Or, after they have secured a job in the field of their degree they may discover they don’t actually enjoy the work it entails as they never had the chance to experience it during their formal study. However, opting for an apprenticeship program for your child means that they gain access to professional settings and career-focused information from day 1. Since an apprenticeship also doubles as a regular occupation, your child will be treated as an employee and handed responsibilities similar to their permanently employed staff meaning they get to experience what it is like to work in the industry. This aspect is crucial for their career development because learning about the professional world does not take place in a college classroom in a manner that would be considered authentic.
Opportunity to Cultivate Valuable Networks
Your child can start to develop their social capital through work-centered training experiences. Since social and occupational connections can open career opportunities, the people they work with can directly lead to more work in the future and those they make an impression on will likely recommend them to others or be willing to be a professional reference for their CV. Primarily, upon successful completion of his/her apprenticeship training, your child will have an in-depth comprehension of the job market and strong interpersonal links to an industry network.
If you enroll your child to a recognized state or national apprenticeship program, it is a guarantee that they will complete the course with credentials that inform potential employers of their suitability to handle the tasks in which they specialized. The qualifications combine connected training on the technical and academic proficiencies that apply to the specific career path. While most apprentices have a clear path into employment, those who do not have such a privilege still possess a credential that is highly marketable throughout the sector in question.
How can you identify the Right Apprenticeship for your Child?
There is a possibility that your child may not be ready for a formal apprenticeship program or is unsure of what to pursue. While helping them join a pre-apprenticeship program is one of the solutions to these challenges, you can also;
- Explore and discuss potential opportunities with your child
- Encourage your child to identify their own personal strengths and interests and let them know you will support them whatever they decide
- Talk to your child’s school career advisor or dean
- Request a compilation of your child’s school record of achievements and see how this could influence their choices
- Scout for possible apprenticeships online and get in touch with some of your favorite providers to find out more about their programs
- Encourage your child to do some of the many useful career quizzes that are available online that can help to indicate what type of career their school subjects, strengths and interests may lead to
- Write a list of pros and cons for some of your child’s potential careers choices and the different pathways to attain the necessary qualifications
Is an apprenticeship the right path for my child?
We are not saying apprenticeships are for everyone, there are of course, careers that cannot be obtained without a university gained qualification. Additionally some people are highly academic and thrive on hours spent pouring over books and writing essays on their learning, research and findings. However, somewhere along the way over recent years it has become normal and expected that most people would follow the academic path when it may not be suited to, or be the best option, for everyone. We are all individuals and deserve to find a career path that suits our unique skills, talents, interests and needs. Majority of a person’s life is spent working so it’s important that the chosen career is fulfilling and satisfying as well as allowing the person to achieve financial stability. If you do think an apprenticeship could be a great option for your child then please get in touch with Apprenticeships Queensland to see if we have any upcoming training or positions available or check out our current vacancies here. Our apprenticeships are available to individuals leaving school, rejoining the job market, or those that are looking to change their careers. Go ahead and give your child a chance to make the most of the benefits associated with enrolling for an apprenticeship program.