Time is running out to kick-start your career at the Wiser Academy
If you sat your GCSE or A-Level exams this year, the chances are that you've probably forgotten about them already after a nice long summer break.
You might have done better than you were expecting, perhaps you didn’t do as well as you were hoping, but either way, that daunting stage of your life is approaching where you need to start thinking about what it is that you're going to do next.
But where should you begin? - Big decisions about your future are not easy to make!
The university route is not suited to everybody, regardless of whether you achieved the grades or not. The costs of university have risen dramatically over the past few years and so has the number of graduates struggling to find graduate jobs. This has forced many people to reconsider whether going to university is a sensible or indeed a feasible option anymore.
Entering the world of work as soon as possible might seem like a much more practical and sensible decision today. After all, earning money instead of borrowing it will put you in a better financial position and help to accelerate you on the road to independence.
However, when deciding on where to begin your career, it's still important to think about the future:
Will you enjoy working in your chosen field?
Does the job pay well?
Will you be given opportunities to learn new skills and develop yourself?
Is there scope to progress within the company?
Will there be opportunities to progress your career elsewhere in the industry?
There is a lot of competition for entry-level positions nowadays, which makes it harder to find good quality employment opportunities with real career longevity. As a result, increasing numbers of young people are choosing to do Apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships can offer the best of both worlds for school and college leavers - valuable paid work experience, employable professional skills and nationally recognised qualifications.
The combination of training, qualifications and experience helps to make apprentices more attractive to employers and research shows that apprentices will earn, on average, over £100,000 more throughout their lifetime than other employees.
Chairman and CEO of Be Wiser Insurance Mark Bower-Dyke with Be Wiser Academy apprentices.
Although Apprenticeships are by no means a recent concept, they have evolved considerably in the last few years and they now span a range of popular industries and cater for various academic abilities.
The UK is facing an over-qualification problem in certain industries, but genuine skills-shortages in others, which has led to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) highlighting why “young people should think carefully about opting for university when, going into an Apprenticeship at 16 or 18 could be a much better choice”.
Prime Minister, David Cameron has also become a champion of Apprenticeship programmes and in recognition of the growing benefits they bring to young people and the wider economy, he has recently pledged to support 3 million Apprenticeships in the UK by 2020.
What can an Apprenticeship offer me?
Earn while you learn
Apprentices do real jobs for real businesses, which means that you will be paid a salary while you learn.
You will start earning from day one of your Apprenticeship and as an apprentice, you will receive the same benefits as other employees at the company, such as employer pension contributions.
While today’s university students take on debts as large as £60,000, apprentices pay no tuition fees and earn a salary instead of borrowing money.
Excellent progression opportunities
Whether you’re looking to climb the ranks within the company or continue your development elsewhere, the skills and qualifications you gain during an Apprenticeship will stand you in good stead to progress in your professional career.
Apprenticeships are designed with the help of employers to provide practical and relevant experience and training, as well as nationally recognised qualifications.
Increased future earning potential
Apprentices enjoy marked salary increases when they complete their training, and research has shown that apprentices earn, on average, over £100,000 more throughout their lifetime than other employees.
Those completing a higher Apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime.
Learning at a pace suited to you and the support of a mentor
Depending on your current skills and qualifications, there are different levels of Apprenticeship that you can apply for:
Intermediate (level 2);
Advanced (level 3); and
Higher and Degree (level 4+)
Depending on the industry and level, Apprenticeships can take between one and five years to complete.
Apprentices receive allocated off-the-job training and you will be assigned a mentor to guide you through each stage of the Apprenticeship.
As a salaried employee of your company, you will also be entitled to paid holiday.
The 2015 intake of apprentices began in August, as we welcomed 10 new apprentices to the company.
Why choose a Be Wiser Apprenticeship?
A competitive salary
Starting salaries for our Apprenticeships are at least double the National Minimum wage for Apprentices and the salary can reach £16,000 by completion of the programme.
Programmes tailored to your ability
Be Wiser's Apprenticeship programmes cater for all academic levels. We have programmes suitable for individuals with 3 GCSE E grades, 5 GCSE C grades, up to A Level grades.
Qualifications – up to degree level
Be Wiser Apprentices can gain qualifications with us up to a degree level, without any university debt or fee’s!
The programmes allow you to gain valuable insight into different areas of the business.
In-house training and Apprenticeship assessors
All the training at Be Wiser is done in-house, this means that you do not have to enrol with or travel to a college/training provider for the study side.
Our Assessors are employed directly by the company, so have great knowledge of the business and departments to best support our apprentices through their qualification.
Allocated study time
Our Apprentices are given an allocated amount of study time each week, within the working week, to work towards the qualifications.
Headstart apprentices revising together in an allocated self-study session.
Real scope for progression
As Be Wiser continues to grow at an impressive rate, we are always on the look out for leaders and managers of the future.
Apprentices gain valuable experience and knoledge of the business, which puts them in good stead to progress within the company.
Find out more about career progression at Be Wiser
Awards and Accreditation
Be Wiser is the only UK insurance broker to have direct grant status from the government for its Apprenticeships.
We are recognised as a Top 100 Apprenticeship employer nationally, winning Newcomer Large Employer of the Year at the regional awards last year. Be Wiser has since been appointed as an Apprenticeships Ambassador for the South of England.
Be Wiser is also the only UK broker to have induction courses accredited by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
How do I apply?
If you are interested in becoming an apprentice at Be Wiser, you can enrol one of our Apprenticeship Assessment Days.
Our assessment days run until October and provide an excellent opportunity to find out about the company and the apprenticeship programmes we provide.
You will also get the opportunity to meet some of our current apprentices and ask any questions that you might have.
Time is running out before the 2015 intake closes, so make sure to enrol soon!
Be Wiser's apprenticeship programmes are part-financed by the European Union. ESF in England is investing in jobs and skills – focusing on people who need support the most and helping them fulfil their potential