In the UK, apprenticeships have become a popular alternative to university. In 2011, there were 146,000 apprentices in the UK, compared to 250,000 university undergraduates.
Apprenticeships involve training in the workplace, usually for a set period, with support from an employer, college or university. Typically, apprentices learn skills in one of five subject areas: Business and administration, Engineering and manufacturing, IT and computing, Health and social work, and Professional and financial services.
At the recent Global Sales Transformation conference, Professor Darryll Bravenboer of Middlesex University spoke about the way that Universities need to adapt to embrace work-based learning, the learning opportunities through employer engagement creates a real-world learning experience for the apprentices. He also spoke of the benefits of working collaboratively with employers and the impact of Degree Apprenticeships. The student learns real-life work through a wide range of learning modules.
An extract from his talk is reproduced here.
"In the past, education was about getting a degree and getting into a good career. Now, young people are changing their career path frequently, sometimes every few years. The traditional apprenticeship model, which was focused on learning on the job, no longer matches the needs of today's learners." "It is not realistic to expect that employers can design the experience of learning for each employee," he said. "The employer needs the apprentice's input." "The new model, which is evolving rapidly, is work based learning," Bravenboer explained.