A high majority of people are unaware of degree or higher-level apprenticeship and this is something we need to change, especially in light of the government’s pledge to drastically increase the number apprenticeships. While the following advice is aimed primarily for colleges or training providers, if you are a business looking to advertise your apprenticeship offering, then a lot will still be relevant to you as well.
Teachers and Careers Advisors
The first place to begin is making sure the local schools, colleges, careers advisors and other training providers know about which degree level apprenticeships you have on offer. Many students still believe the stereotype that apprenticeships aren’t as good as A-levels and degrees, and that they equal low pay. Schools and careers advisors need to be made aware of the truth of the benefits, and the pros and cons, of all types of apprenticeships and stop reinforcing the stereotype, whether intentionally or not.
Once the schools, colleges and careers advisors know what is available, they can begin promoting them and informing others. The more information and knowledge they are armed with, the more they can spread to their students and clients.
A simple phone call to the schools, colleges and advisors in the area, asking if they’re aware of your offering, or asking if you could visit or send materials regarding your degree apprenticeships, would be a great first step in securing eager young minds to fill your apprenticeship slots. Creating flyers, leaflets and posters to be displayed in job centres, officers of careers advisors and schools could be very useful to increasing the awareness of what you offer.
Parents are still the primary source of careers advice and information for many young people. Yet the vast majority have never heard of or know little about degree apprenticeships. If they don’t have the information, or are suffering under the same misunderstanding that they are seen as less than degrees, or have less chance of leading to high paying careers, then they cannot inform their children about them when it comes to making decisions about careers and future plans.
I have no doubt that if parents were made aware of the benefits of degree apprenticeships, then they would be eager to encourage their children to head out into the world of work through one. This is incredibly important for those living and working in less privileged areas, where the apprenticeship scheme, including the degree apprenticeships, would be of benefit to so many.
If the local schools, colleges and careers advisors are aware of your degree apprenticeship offering and the benefits attached, then one would hope that they would be spreading the news among their cohort of parents. However, it won’t do you any harm to make sure the parents in your local area are aware of you and what you are offering, as well as having information available on your website to include parents and students who do not live in the local area but may still be interested.
One way of doing this will be to, as I’ve just mentioned, is make sure you have an easy to find and clear page or two on your website discussing degree apprenticeships and their benefits. Another is to pay for a spread in a local printed and/or online newspaper, where you can again list the apprenticeships you offer and how to get in touch. An information evening for parents and prospective students may also be a great way to get the information out there.
Of course, you also want to ensure prospective candidates, when school leavers or those currently employed elsewhere, or unemployed adults looking for a second or third chance, have access to the information they need.
Having information about you and the apprenticeships you offer around in places like job centres, career advisors, and local schools, colleges and training providers, will help spread the message of what you have available. Another option is to promote through social media, as well as online through your website and news sites.
A lot of young people, and probably many adults, aren’t really informed about the employers and companies in their local area, nor the career prospects available. It may be a good idea to work actively with the employers you are linked to through the apprenticeships to promote each other and the apprenticeships. Create an advertising and marketing strategy geared towards young people and also adults who would like to retrain, both inside and outside the employer’s current staff, demonstrating the benefits of working for and training with that employer, as well as training with yourself and the degree apprenticeship benefits. As the majority of apprentices continue to work for the employer they apprenticed with, it’s a good idea for the employer to take a vested interested in who they train and this is one idea.
Also, it could be of benefit to make the employers and companies, small and large, in your area cognizant of your degree apprenticeships. This could lead to a wider variety of employers and therefore number of available places for your apprenticeships, and also it could lead to a wider variety of apprenticeships you can offer through a wider variety of employers you are linked with.
When promoting your degree apprenticeships, you need people to understand three things:
- What a degree apprenticeship is and its benefits
- Why they should study and train with you
- How they can find out more