Hundreds of thousands of students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have today (23 August) been receiving their long-awaited GCSE results and will now be planning their next steps.
At CITB we love construction apprenticeships, so we’ve come up with a list of all the very best things about doing one.
1. You can earn while you learn
An apprenticeship is like any other job and while you won’t be earning the big bucks just yet, you’ll get a wage while developing your skills.
2. And you won't rack up huge debts from student loans
Many university graduates complete their studies with tens of thousands of pounds in student loan debts which take years to pay off. An apprenticeship on the other hand is free for the person doing it, no matter what age you are.
3. You'll get hands on, practical experience
If you undertake an apprenticeship, you’ll get real, tangible, on-the-job experience. So rather than sitting inside and listening to someone explain things, you’ll be out seeing them done first-hand and then be able to have a go yourself.
4. You also learn important life skills
Like confidence, time-keeping, decision-making, how to meet deadlines and even the importance of a good night’s sleep!
5. And you'll already be in the industry when you complete your studies, giving you a head start along your career path
Many university leavers finish their studies without any job prospects or even knowing what they want to do. But once you’ve completed your construction apprenticeship you’ll have already worked in the industry for some time so you’ll have a good chance of staying on with your apprenticeship employer or have the networks and experience to get another job.
6. You mix with a wide range of people who you can learn from
Apprenticeships are great for getting you out there and meeting people you might not otherwise come into contact with. You’ll meet people from all walks of life and with a varied work experience who often make great advisors and mentors.
Many construction apprentices say that no two days are the same – on Monday you might be at college with your peers, Tuesdays could be spent on site and Wednesdays in the office.
8. You can take your skills anywhere
When you finish your construction apprenticeship you’ll have a skill set that you could use to work anywhere in the world, like the Welsh volunteer apprentices who helped build a new maternity unit in Uganda.
9. Or you can use them to help out at home
As a construction apprentice you can put your skills to good use within your community. Single mother Emma Louise MacKenzie learnt skills to decorate her own flat and secure a future for her and her young daughter. Emma is working towards setting up her own furniture upcycling business and hopes to inspire others in her situation to also consider a career in construction.
10. Compete at a national, or even international event
As a construction apprentice you’ll have the chance to enter into Skillbuild, where you’ll compete against other apprentices at the same level as you to be crowned the winner of your chosen trade. The winners of Skillbuild go on to represent the UK at the WorldSkills competition. Next year’s event will be held in Kazan, Russia.
11. Inspire others
If you love construction and you want to tell everyone just how great it is, you can become a construction ambassador and help inspire others.
12. You can start off as an apprentice and end up as the CEO
There’s a huge potential for career progression in construction. Like Sir Terry Morgan CBE, who started out as an engineering apprentice in a car parts factory in Wales and is now in charge of Europe’s largest civil engineering project. Oh the places you’ll go!
13. Leaving a legacy
As a construction worker you have the ability to build something that could last forever – a skyscraper or even a massive new railway like HS2. Not many other jobs can offer you the same!
14. There's a job to suit every personality...
There’s more the construction than just diggers and steel toe boots. To find out what job would suit you, take the Go Construct personality quiz. You might be pleasantly surprised.