As the UK marks the start of National Apprenticeship Week today (6th February), research conducted by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) found a 40% rise in people starting entry level apprenticeships so far in the 2022-23 financial year.

AAT’s research found that participating in an apprenticeship has had a positive impact on people’s careers with nearly 4 in 5 (83%) of apprentices surveyed reporting they would recommend doing an apprenticeship to others. Additionally, three-quarters (71%) of people who have studied or are currently studying an apprenticeship say the experience has enabled them to pursue their dream career. The main benefits apprentices stated were the ability of earning whilst learning (46%), as well as gaining real world experience (38%).

The research found that 2 in 5 (40%) of UK adults believe that school leavers should concentrate on combining learning with being paid as their main priority this year, followed by further education (22%), paid work (20%) and taking time out (7%). Moreso, over half (51%) of over 55s believe that learning whilst earning is important.

It appears the training-on-the-job schemes are not just for young people, with over a quarter of people (27%) who started an apprenticeship after the age of 25 did so to change career into a new industry, while 4 in 5 (80%) between the age of 25-34 felt that an apprenticeship catered for their learning needs better than full-time education.

AAT business development manager Anthony Clarke said: “It’s great to see more people embracing apprenticeships as a bridge between education and the working world. With the information we all have at our finger tips, there are more options than ever and by evaluating them, everyone can choose what is right for them – for a lot of people it’s going to be the ability to earn and learn at the same time with an apprenticeship.

“Research shows that going to university is getting more expensive all the time, and students on average will lose almost £50,000 between tuition and maintenance costs – while they could make almost £50,000 with three years on an entry level accounting apprenticeship.

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“By helping to retrain and offer qualifications to work in new sectors, apprentices can also be seen as the answers for businesses to innovate and grow their own talent, so it benefits both parties.”

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