What percentage of apprentices stay in employment after their apprenticeship?

28 April 2022

An apprentice getting hired upon completion of his apprenticeship.

If you’re currently weighing up your options with regards to training and employment, an apprenticeship could be an excellent choice. These schemes blend real, paying work with the chance to train, learn skills and study for valuable qualifications.

But is an apprenticeship right for you? One of the important things to consider is what this kind of programme of work and training can do for your long-term career prospects. Before making such a big decision, you’ll naturally want to know whether an apprenticeship is likely to lead to a full-time job once you’ve finished.

So, just how many apprenticeships lead to long-term employment? Let’s take a closer look at some of the statistics.

How many apprentices are there in the UK?

According to government data, in 2021 there were over 713,000 active all-age apprenticeships in England alone, with a further 37,000 in Scotland and over 100,000 in Wales. 

What percentage of apprentices get a job?

Government research in 2018 uncovered a very encouraging statistic – that 65% of apprentices (of a total of 844) in the study remained in full-time employment after finishing their apprenticeship. While data published by the London Progression Collaboration (LPC) in 2022 showed a 72% fall in entry-level apprenticeship uptake since 2014 (with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic thought to be the biggest cause of this drop), the percentage of apprentices going into full-time employment or higher education/training is thought to have remained just as high. 

Other research also reveals similarly positive news in terms of job prospects for apprentices finishing their schemes. One study found that a huge 85% of apprentices stay in employment, and 64% of these continue working with the same employer.

This will make a lot of sense for current apprentices, who are trained, valued and invested in by their employer during their scheme. The apprenticeship is tailored to the business, so perfectly prepares them for a career in the company. If there’s a good fit in terms of values and goals, then there’s no reason why an apprentice can’t thrive in the same business as their initial apprenticeship.

It’s not only important to look at how likely it is you’ll get a job after your apprenticeship. It’s also smart to consider career progression. What pathways will be available to you once you finish your apprenticeship? According to one report, a management position could even be on the cards – as researchers found that it takes an average of five years for an apprentice to reach management level in around half of companies that take on apprentices.

Is it easier to get a job as an apprentice?

Although it’s certainly true that apprentices and traditional forms of higher education, such as university degrees, are both highly regarded by employers, they tend to be respected in different ways. University degrees can display a deep knowledge and understanding of a certain subject, presenting a wide range of transferable skills. On the other hand, apprenticeships are more valued for the focus they place on practical knowledge and real-life work experience that can be priceless when it comes to full-time employment.

For this reason, both traditional pathways into full-time employment have their advantages. However, it is certainly worth noting that now, more than ever before, organisations and businesses in a range of industries (including the financial industry) are more willing to offer  apprenticeship schemes as a means of long-term recruitment, rather than only employing those with a degree. 

Can an apprentice have a second job?

Legally-speaking, yes – apprentices can have a second job. However, it’s worth noting that individual apprenticeship scheme employers may not recommend this and may prefer you concentrate solely on your apprenticeship. It’s also important to remember that although you will not be taxed at all if your apprenticeship wage is less than £12,570 per year (for the 2021/22 tax year), if you take on a second job that takes your annual income over this figure, earnings over this personal allowance will be taxed. For this reason, you may need to consider all pros and cons before taking on a second job while completing your apprenticeship. 

Can you claim Universal Credit while doing an apprenticeship?

Yes – as an apprentice you are typically entitled to claim Universal Credit and other benefits, however, the amount you can claim will depend on a number of factors. For example, in order to claim Universal Credit while completing your apprenticeship, you need to have a named and registered training provider (such as Simply Academy), be paid at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for an apprenticeship, and also be working towards gaining a recognised qualification. 

Why hire an apprentice?

If you’re an employer deciding whether or not to hire an apprentice, there are a number of crucial things to weigh up. Here are just some of the many benefits of apprenticeships for businesses:

  • Apprentices bring valuable ‘soft skills’ to the business, such as communication, team-working and leadership.
  • Young apprentices can also help to keep knowledge up-to-date within the business, especially when it comes to IT and technology skills.
  • Apprentices can bring a significant amount of added value for the business – a report by Microsoft found that apprentices can add value of around £37,000 per employee, per year. This shows just how important it can be to invest in talent at the apprenticeship stage.
  • The chance to ‘grow your own’ talent. Many employers are facing skills shortages and are struggling to compete with the higher salaries offered by larger competitors. One effective solution can be to set the syllabus for your apprentice and mould this exciting potential talent into a hugely valuable asset, one which could drive your business forward in the future.
  • Upskill your existing team. Do you have an employee with potential, but they need certain qualifications and training in order to progress? An apprenticeship could be a viable option when university is not, helping to fast-track an employee and give them valuable new skills.
  • Youth, enthusiasm and exciting new ideas. Every organisation can benefit from a breath of fresh air, and this is exactly what an apprentice can bring. They’ll have their own ideas and a fresh perspective, which could help to reinvigorate your team and encourage different ways of thinking.

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about financial service apprenticeships in the UK, or any of our other financial services courses, feel free to contact the Simply Academy team today. Our friendly team is made up of experts when it comes to apprenticeships and is always on hand to answer all your questions and help you find the best apprenticeship scheme or further education course for you. 

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