There are numerous ways that you can judge apprenticeship opportunities. For some, it will be the particular firm or organization that is offering the apprenticeship that will be the main draw. For others, it will be the remuneration package that is on offer. There again, some people will relish gaining transferable technical skills on the job that will make them employable in many different sectors in the UK. All of these factors have something going for them. However, in the end, it is a blend of the various opportunities that apprenticeships offer that makes them what they are. In other words, you shouldn’t take an apprenticeship based on one set of criteria alone but look at what the whole opportunity affords you both now and in the future.
Given no one knows exactly what the future may hold, choosing to complete an apprenticeship is still a good idea. Having one under your belt isn’t just about gaining qualifications and technical prowess in a certain industry. It also means you can demonstrate you have a work ethic, a desire to learn, and the drive to make progress in your career. In the end, apprenticeships say something about you as an individual that employers tend to like. Crucially, this is the case even if you decide at some point to change your trade or profession and try your hand at something else.
Are you thinking about what would make for a great apprenticeship in 2022, or what industries will likely offer plenty of highly paid employment for the rest of your career? Read on to find out.
Air Conditioning / Refrigeration Engineering
Engineers are highly sought-after in many sectors. In the British air-conditioning and commercial refrigeration industry, they are in very high demand. This is because more and more UK companies now see cooling as essential for their long-term ability to hire and recruit staff. Office workers now expect air-conditioning to be the standard, so there are plenty of designers and installers who are needed.
What’s more, there is a big demand for maintenance technicians who can repair already installed systems. The same goes for commercial refrigeration. The UK’s supply chains are more reliant on cooling than ever before. As summers get hotter, so this trend is likely to continue. According to TJ Refrigeration, a Rochdale-based firm that takes on apprentice engineers, the pandemic saw many older technicians leave the industry, so now is the right time to begin an apprenticeship and walk into a highly paid job opportunity.
Banking and Finance
In the past, apprenticeships focused on gaining technical trade skills. In fact, for some years, you could only really get apprenticeships in trades like plumbing or bricklaying. This is certainly no longer the case in the UK because it is possible to enter industries like banking and finance. It should be said that banking firms and financial institutions like a strong academic record among their apprentices, so this option tends to be an alternative to qualifying for college or university.
Indeed, some apprenticeships in this sector combine both on-the-job training with academic studies. Although banking and finance might not be the right fit for all apprentices, this sector pays the most. In 2021, the average pay for apprentices in banking and finance was just under £22,000 per annum.
There is a huge demand not just for programmers and coders in the IT industry but also for technicians who can work at the infrastructure level. British Telecom, the former nationalized telecommunications service provider, used to have an excellent apprenticeship reputation a few decades ago. Now, alongside BT Openreach, other private communications companies and the likes of Virgin Media and Vodafone also offer good apprenticeship opportunities in which you can train to deal with fiber optics, telephony networks, internet protocols, and much more besides. You’ll have to be prepared to work outside in all weathers if you want to do this sort of work, however.
That said, it is not just the big infrastructure companies that offer these apprenticeships. Some of the UK’s biggest employers have their own in-house IT teams, and there are apprenticeships to be found working within corporate structures that some young employees will find appealing. Often, these will be related to work in another sector, which opens up more potential job opportunities. For example, manufacturing firms, retail chains, and hospitality brands often have their own IT departments, so look for apprenticeship opportunities among them.
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