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Take advantage of the “Buyer’s market”: Apprenticeship or University?

Following A-level results last week and GCSE results this week, we explore the options available to learners, and why Apprenticeships are on the rise.

According to a BBC article, “As results were being received, the UCAS admissions body said 416,000 university places had so far been confirmed – down 2% on the same point last year.

University applications from the UK and European Union countries have fallen compared with last year and there is a demographic dip in the number of 18 year olds.”*

This drop may be due to learners choosing to study via an apprenticeship as it is a clear route into work, ‘earn while you learn’ without debt.

Why choose an Apprenticeship over studying at University?

For Tim Curbbun, taking his Beauty Therapy Apprenticeship at VTCT Centre Chesterfield College was a complete game changer for him:

“Originally I did A-levels, with the intention of being a primary school teacher, and after a short stint at university I knew this was not the career for me. Beauty and make-up was always a passion of mine, so I decided to pursue a career in this industry.

“I studied beauty therapy Level 2 at Chesterfield College, Media make-up at Syreeta’s Academy and returned to Chesterfield College to complete my level 3 in beauty therapy and various ESF courses as a mature apprentice.

“I started my apprenticeship with a close friend of mine who opened a salon called Zest by Inez and using previous skills, I helped to develop the salon, making salon links within the local area and have gained trust in providing professional staff members, and giving students valuable, career changing experiences. This has also increased the demand for apprentices within our department.”

Tim isn’t the only learner to realise their ambition through an apprenticeship. After achieving Levels 1 and 2 NVQs in hairdressing, VTCT Centre Academy at No.5 learner; Lauren Hazley joined Verelle Hairdressing in Fareham. Her chirpy attitude and helpful nature have made Lauren an essential part of the salon family.

Lauren was offered a Barbering Apprenticeship, and a scholarship for Level 3 Hairdressing which she took on both simultaneously – always hardworking! She was recognised at her centre’s Annual Awards, winning Student of the Year after unanimous nominations.

Lauren is now a Graduate Stylist at Verelle and her next goal is to achieve Barbering Advanced Apprenticeship.

So what are the benefits of completing an Apprenticeship over studying at University?

To give a real-life example, VTCT Apprenticeship Manager Lynda Whitehorn has given us a side-by-side comparison of two potential routes into working for popular cosmetics company – MAC Cosmetics:

Find out about VTCT Apprenticeship packages here


** http://www.vtct.org.uk/find-a-centre/?pc=london&qual=beauty&country=United+Kingdom&search_type=centres
*** http://www.arts.ac.uk/fashion/
**** https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/jul/05/poorest-students-will-finish-university-with-57000-debt-says-ifs
***** https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Salary/MAC-Cosmetics-Salaries-E229529.htm accessed on the 18.8.2017

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