Apprenticeship Week: Anisa Miah blogs on apprenticeships vs university

10 Mar 2015

A few years ago, if someone told me they were doing an apprenticeship instead of university I probably would’ve asked “what is an apprenticeship?” Fast forward a few years and now I’m the one doing an apprenticeship instead of going to university.

For me personally, doing an apprenticeship was quite a spontaneous decision but not something I regret at all. I spent 14 years thinking I was going to go university to study Mathematics and that my whole life was set out, to then suddenly deciding 2 weeks before my A-Level results were released that I didn’t want to go to university anymore and wanted to explore other options. I chose an Apprenticeship because I wanted to go into employment but I didn’t want to stop studying yet. Learning is such an important aspect of life and I just wasn’t ready to give it up so I thought an Apprenticeship was the best way for me to progress and improve and gain a variety of different skills.

The month of August was all a bit of a blur; I was fortunate enough to get one of the first apprenticeships I applied for. I applied for my apprenticeship with the National Youth Agency on the O2 Think Big programme in the first week of August through a training provider called Future UnLtd. I didn’t hear anything until the 14 August at which point I was shocked because that was the day of my A-level results, and so as you can imagine I was a bit shocked and maybe a bit apprehensive that I got the call on that day.  From then it was all a quick process; I went to meet with Future UnLtd and they managed to get me an interview for the week after and by the 22 August I was told I had been accepted to be an apprentice at the NYA, working on Think Big programme!

6 months later and I’ve learnt so much about the employment world but also about myself. The fact that I am working and gaining a qualification at the same time was one of the main benefits to doing an apprenticeship. While I can’t deny that going to university must be an amazing experience, doing an apprenticeship was definitely the right decision for me and everyday I’m thinking about how happy I am to have chosen this path. I’ve picked up so many transferable skills that can be used in everyday life but also when I move on to whatever I may do next; you also get to meet so many different people of all ages which is good for gaining contacts. I have received so much support from both NYA and Future Unltd; without either of them I definitely wouldn’t be enjoying myself right now within my role and while doing my apprenticeship work.

I would definitely recommend doing an apprenticeship if you are unsure about going to university or even if you’re set on going to university! After all I was set on going to university until I just decided that maybe, I can still go into the career that I want to without a degree. Apprenticeships provide experience which employers are always looking for and in some organisations apprentices are kept on as the employers know you and they have personal investment in you and it’s just a matter of working to the top. The advice I would give to anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship is to make sure you’re not afraid of working hard and if you make the choice to do an apprenticeship, stick to the decision and don’t be indecisive about it.  Most of all make sure you get all you can out of this opportunity and enjoy yourself. In the end you’ve got to think about yourself and your future.