The number of students applying to university has fallen, according to official figures.

UCAS data has shown that 25,000 fewer people have applied to start degree courses at UK universities and colleges this autumn, compared to last year. This equates to a 4% dip in applications.

These figures suggest that school leavers are considering other training and education options, such as apprenticeships.

So, when is the best time to take on an apprentice? Many young people consider what their options are after exams in January, according to the director of Director of South West Apprenticeship Company Ltd (SWAC) Clare Vertigen.

However, GCSE exams typically finish in June of each year, so it’s at this point that students will finalise their plans to either carry on and do sixth form, go to university or start an apprenticeship.

Taking on a summer apprentice

To attract school leavers looking to enter the world of work, it makes sense to open up a vacancy at your business from July onwards, as young people can’t start an apprenticeship whilst still in full-time education.

Taking on an apprentice during the summer months, for example in a childcare setting, will help your new employee settle in and get accustomed to the day-to-day running of business before the new intake of children in September.

Flexibility of your training provider

When recruiting for an apprentice, you’ll need to consider that some training providers may start their apprenticeship programmes strictly from the September academic year. This typically tends to be the case when you use a college of further education. Other training providers, such as Parenta, are able to be more flexible with the start date for your new apprentice.

Rather than advertising for an apprentice yourself, it can take the pressure off a little to engage with a specialist provider. They’ll take the time to find out exactly what type of apprentice you’re looking for, put together a job advert, and sort through candidates who meet your specific requirements.

So, if you’re considering taking on an apprentice for your business, now’s the time to act!

Need help finding an apprentice? Let the Parenta team provide you with advice. Call our team on 0800 002 9242 or find out more here.


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