This article is aimed at any 16, 17, or 18 year olds looking into apprenticeships…
Recently at a meeting of business leaders the apprenticeship levy arose. This scheme has been put in place by the government to encourage apprenticeships, every company with over £3 million payroll (not a huge amount ~50 staff worth give-or-take) will have to put in place apprenticeships or seriously consider it.
What does this mean for you?
We need technicians and scientists like never before, the rate of company formation in the science parks and general growth of science has been fantastic in recent years. However the amount of people graduating is the same so this creates a shortage of skills.
As a young person looking into career options at 16 or 18 I highly encourage you take advantage of a degree apprenticeship as an entry into science if a degree is not for you.
Science is a career which will offer the opportunity to work on the new drugs, medical technologies, fuels and foods of the future. The difference a scientific job can make is just immeasurable when you consider those fields and in the UK we have world class companies contributing at the forefront of these fields that can offer you the chance to play your part.
While every scientific advance is a team effort - Science is great use of your skills and intelligence, it is a career where you will find yourself individually challenged, respected and in demand. It is also ultimately straightforward to do - everything no matter how complex boils down to a process or set of rules that has to be communicated to others - no job in science is too complicated beyond your brainpower if you apply yourself. Ideas have to be in a form that can be understood by someone else and taken forward, that’s how the whole thing works… and laboratories are the cleanest rooms you will walk into.
The money in science will unfortunately not buy you a Ferrari (unless you happen to start up a successful scientific business in which case you can have a garage full) however it is well paid professional work once established and on a par with most professional roles such as lawyer / engineer or architect once established.
As a recruiter that works in this market every day, I would recommend a career in science to any young person considering one of the many options the apprenticeship levy scheme will be giving rise to in the coming months and years.