Apprenticeships key to addressing skills gap
Many people view apprenticeships with distain, thinking of them as old fashioned and more suited to jobs in industries that are slowly dying out.
However that’s far from the truth: apprenticeships can help arm people with real-world skills that can be used to advance their career while there are a number of exciting companies out there for people looking to get into the tech and digital sectors.
The technological boom over the past few years means that the job market has never been more fluid, rendering a large number of skills learnt at university or other places of higher education considerably outdated by the time students enter the workforce.
While this is true of all sectors, it’s particularly relevant in the tech sector, where required skills change on an almost annual basis, often leaving employees and employers struggling to keep up.
Workplace training is often a good solution to further skills and ‘keep with the times’, but often the training is of a more technical and specialised nature. Things like how to use certain systems that the company relies on are often prioritised over broadening skills that can help in areas that will be both useful to their career development and also within the context of the company.
Training in, for example, how to master the art of public speaking, or how to negotiate like a pro, are skills that very few employers offer their staff, but are the types of attributes that could end up making them more money in the long-run. Apprenticeships give people a real idea of what working life is like and allows people to gain valuable skills that often isn’t possible elsewhere.
One side effect of this ever-shifting career marketplace is that job requirements are much broader than ever before. Once you could sell yourself as a frontend developer; now recruiters and hiring managers are looking for a full-stack developer who can also claim to be an expert in SEO-focused copywriting and marketing activity.
Put simply, it’s difficult for those who have been in the workforce for a few years – especially if they have remained at the same company – to truly learn the new skills that could aid them in progressing their career at a faster rate.
Another issue worth discussing, one especially prevalent with workplace training, is when employees in the same company often end up thinking in the same way and following the exact same thought-process which often leads to ideas that aren’t truly innovative. The ideas generated may be exactly what that specific company is after, but if employees move on, they might find it difficult to adapt to a new way of thinking.
That’s why it’s important for today’s modern workforce to have a peer-group of like-minded individuals, outside of their colleagues, who they can turn to for inspiration and to bounce ideas off of one another.
Apprenticeship schemes help people to build their network, and if they do choose to move on, the connections made can prove to be invaluable in the long run.