Rachel Campbell writes for City & Guilds, a global leader in skills development. They have two million learners working towards their qualifications every year.

‘It seems that 2017 is quite an interesting year for the world of apprenticeships, what with the new levy coming into place, as well as the snap election delivering surprising results. These happenings within the government along with their pledges and plans, has placed more interest and importance on apprenticeships than ever before.

If you’re a young adult looking at your options when it comes to kick-starting, developing or progressing your career, discover more about how apprenticeships are becoming increasingly important, with insight from the apprenticeship schemes provider, City & Guilds.

Improved training and reduced unemployment levels with the new apprenticeship levy

It’s been a couple of years since the apprenticeship levy was announced, however April of this year saw it brought into place. The levy has been introduced, as a process aimed to encourage employers to provide quality training to their apprentices, as well as to increase the number of apprentices being taken on.

In a few words, the levy now means that companies with a large annual pay bill of £3m or over, will have to contribute a percentage of the total towards the levy. Being part of the levy means that these employers will have access to a digital service, that suggests approved training schemes that they can choose to enrol their apprentices on.

This brand new initiative aims to reduce the level of unemployment across England, as well as to ensure that apprentices are heading into jobs that can provide high-quality skills and development opportunities. The levy will help to give apprentices a strong skillset that they can carry with them into their future careers.

Snap election result confirms the continuation of higher university tuition fees

The snap general election came as quite a surprise to the majority of the UK, as Theresa May looked to reaffirm her status as leader of the country, prior to the start of Brexit negotiations. While the run up to the result revealed that the Conservatives didn’t hold as much favour as they initially thought, the end result revealed that the country would continue to led by the party, with the addition of the DUP, too.

Whilst the Labour party pledged to eradicate university tuition fees, the Conservatives will continue the higher fees, around 3 times what they were before they came into power. As such, many young adults are struggling to come to terms with these higher fees, concerned by the debts that will hang over their heads for 25 years or more.

This is another reason as to why apprenticeships are becoming increasingly important. Now we know that the Conservatives will remain in power and that the current tuition fees will remain in place, apprenticeships are more appealing than ever before, for those who are worried about the debt that can mount with going to university.

Knowing that you will be earning money as you learn, as well as assurance from the levy that your skills will come from recommended training schemes, the apprenticeship route should now be a serious consideration, if university isn’t the right path for you.

Brexit brings about the unknown

The confirmed government now means that Brexit negotiations can go ahead, with a leader in place to smoothly manage the proceedings from start to finish. But even this cannot determine what will happen both during and after Brexit.

The economy is expected to change here and there, as we’ve already seen from the decline of the value of the pound. Some businesses are choosing to move branches in and out of the UK, depending on where their headquarters are based, with fears that that some of their branches could be severely affected by Brexit.

As such, employment opportunities may become fewer and employers could be stricter in their hunt for future candidates with a strong set of skills. This is where apprenticeships can offer some solace, by providing you with a head start into building and developing these skills, ahead of Brexit. With an apprenticeship, you can begin building on both your knowledge and practical skills, in time for when they might become even more crucial.

There’s never been a better time to get involved with an apprenticeship, based on what is happening within the UK’s political and economic landscapes. The future is unknown, but with an apprenticeship you can rest assured that you are heading into the future with a skill set that will see you through comfortably.’

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