At some point in our lives, we face the tough debate of deciding whether to progress with further education or take the plunge and get straight into full-time work. For some people, there’s a straight-forward answer, but for others, it can be tricky to establish what the best route will be. Many students are led to believe that university is the best and only option for them, but in a day and age where alternative decisions can be made, this misconception is slowly vanishing. Here at Bulldog, we are big advocates for apprenticeships, and strongly believe that they are the perfect option for those looking to get their foot in an industry door. We understand that not one-size-fits-all, but with so many industries and job roles at your fingertips with an apprenticeship, it’s certainly a valid option to consider.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship consists of combining both work and education. Typically, you find yourself working full-time with the occasional day out for classroom training. Apprenticeships usually last from 12-24 months, and you will receive a qualification with a specific level based on the course you opted for. As apprenticeships have risen in popularity, they have become widely available in just about any sector you can imagine!
To put it simply:
💰 Earn a salary while learning with no risk of being in debt like university
🔮 Gain industry experience with a high chance of a long-term career path with your provider or in your chosen industry
🏆 Receive an official qualification recognised by all employers. Apprenticeships can start at levels equivalent to GCSE and take you right up to degree level
Who are apprenticeships for?
Good news! Apprenticeships are available for anyone over the age of 16. Apprentices are typically school leavers, but there is no maximum age limit, so it’s never too late! Here at Bulldog, the start age for apprentices has ranged from 17 to 22. So, whether you’ve just finished your GCSEs or A Levels, or have realised the uni life isn’t for you; there’s an apprenticeship waiting.
Where do I begin?
As previously mentioned, apprenticeships have continued to rise in popularity, meaning there are more apprenticeship providers than ever! The role of these providers is to set you up with suited businesses that offer the scheme, as well as provide you with sufficient training to ensure you qualify. A great place to start would be over on the Gov Apprenticeships site. Large amounts of apprenticeships vacancies are listed on here, making the application process simple and stress-free.
If you know which industry you want to work in, then a simple search on Google for an apprenticeship provider in that area will be sure to give you answers. We’re more than happy to give you some guidance if needed, so just get in touch if you have any queries on where to begin.
Apprencticeships at Bulldog
As you can see, we’re extremely pro-apprenticeships, but that’s because we have every reason to be! We’ve always been open to hiring apprentices since day one, and have never had any troubles. In fact, some of our most senior members of the team started as apprentices, proving the success. Gone are the days of seeing apprentices as someone to ‘make all the teas’ or ‘run all the unwanted admin jobs’. Here, apprentices become part of the Bulldog family from the beginning and are treated no differently.
Check out our recent episode of #behindthebulldog, where we speak to some of our current and former apprentices. They give us their honest views on the scheme and working with Bulldog in particular.
Why did you want to do an apprenticeship?
“It was either go to university or do an apprenticeship, and when I decided I didn’t want to get in a load of debt at uni, I realised I wanted to start earning money while also learning.” – Emily Wilson, Digital Marketing Executive
“I was already the oldest in my college class by 2 years, so I was ready to jump straight into something else when I realised I was really interested in graphic design. I realised that an apprenticeship would be the best way for me to pursue that.” – Ryan Keeble, Graphic Designer
“I gave university a go and didn’t think it was the right route for me. I really wanted to get some hands-on experience and going down the apprenticeship route really made me understand that it can provide that.” – Joe Turbin, Digital Marketing Assistant
What are the benefits of being an apprentice at Bulldog?
“There’s quite a close-knit family vibe, so the second that you walk through the door, you’re already part of the team. You don’t feel separated, you’re not made to make tea all day, they really want you to grow here.” – Emily
“Everyones very welcoming and I feel that’s really helped me get a bit more confident.” – Ryan
“They’re really patient at Bulldog. Deadlines can be pretty daunting as a new designer, but the team are really patient and let you try different styles and tools which is really helpful in the long run.” – Lewis Griffin, Graphic Designer
Would you recommend doing an apprenticeship?
“100%! If you are set on not going to uni, but you’re really passionate about something, there will probably be an apprenticeship for it. So, if you want to earn money and do something you’re passionate about, then definitely consider an apprenticeship.” – Emily
“Yeah, totally. I’ve recommended it to all my mates who were in the same position as me (not really knowing what to do when they grow up). There’s no harm in trying it out!” – Ellis Burke, Digital Outreach Executive
“Absolutely. I think that a lot of people these days are coming out of education, forced into making a decision on what they want to do with their life. A lot of people have no clue, including me. I think an apprenticeship is a great way to help understand that and understand it in a working environment, as well.” – Joe