The figures show that there are now as much as 100 school leavers competing for each apprenticeship position within sectors as diverse as retail, IT, engineering and financial services.
Here’s a little taster of some of the big numbers that firms have seen in their applications this year.
- Energy firm National Grid reported 5,419 for 69 school leaver positions in 2014.
- Leading financial services firm Lloyds received 1,800 applications for 23 Higher Apprenticeships in “change management”.
- Retail giant Marks & Spencer 3,000 applications for 30 trainee manager positions.
There’s been a big boost in the amount of vacancies for school leavers created in the financial services and engineering sectors over the past couple of years too, indicating that top companies are really pushing to secure top talent at an earlier stage. PwC is reportedly looking for 140 apprentices for 2014 – that’s double the amount in 2012.
These figures reflect the emergence of an attitude overhaul regarding apprenticeships. They are an indication that to some extent the face and demographic of apprenticeship candidates and perceived validity of apprenticeships as a career option is now changing. Apprenticeships are increasingly being viewed as a genuine career path alternative, offering strong career learning, training and progression prospects – without the £9,000 per year fees.
Furthermore, employers are evidently also increasingly placing value in the abilities and potential of school leavers, with added pressure from the government to create more opportunities for young people.
If you’re nervously awaiting your results, don’t panic! There will certainly be an option for you, whatever the outcome, and life will go on! If you haven’t thought of a Plan-B yet, then it’s a good idea to check out what else you could do with your GCSE or A-level results, just in case. And here’s the place to do it!