As one of the largest employer provider apprenticeship programmes in the country and having run apprenticeship programmes since 1923, the British Army understands how apprenticeships can build the future, with the range of opportunities its Apprenticeship Programme offers worth highlighting during this 15th annual National Apprenticeship week. This has been true for Lance Corporal (LCpl) Graham of 3 Medical Regiment. His chain of command noted: "The trade expertise and confidence gained by LCpl Graham whilst completing the apprenticeship have proven to be invaluable. From starting his career without civilian recognised qualifications, to completing the apprenticeship, trade upgrading and selection as an Initial Trade Training instructor is testament to LCpl Graham’s dedication. He is a true inspiration to all soldiers demonstrating what can be achieved with hard work, determination to succeed and increasing self-confidence in his own abilities."
Image courtesy British Army / MoD
All Army apprentices are enrolled on the new Apprenticeship Standards. The Army has been an active participant in many trailblazer groups and so helped shape the Standards. So, apprenticeships delivered by the Army are part of a nationally recognised scheme, one that gives soldiers the chance to work for an employer at the same time as studying for relevant, work-based qualifications.
Valued by civilian employers
More than 90% of new soldiers are enrolled onto an apprenticeship, with more than 14,000 on programmes at any one time. With a completion rate well above the national average, at least 6,000 complete their apprenticeship training each year.
As most Army apprenticeships start as the soldier engages with their initial trade training course the apprenticeship is closely related to a soldier’s Army role. This ensures that as well as becoming a better soldier, they are working towards a qualification that will be valued by civilian employers when they leave the service.
The Army is investing in and equipping its people for a successful career within the Army and for life beyond service.
There are currently over 40 programmes in a variety of trades from engineering and construction, to hospitality and animal care. A high number of apprenticeships are in STEM subjects such as engineering and telecommunications.
After graduating from university with a biotechnology degree, Signaller (Sig) Velicaria, who was born in the Philippines, joined the British Army and was intrigued by the cyber engineering trade within the Royal Signals. He said: “The apprenticeship is great: it covers many topics I find interesting, offers civilian qualifications and pays me a full salary without the expensive rent payments.”
“There are also fantastic opportunities to climb up the ranks. I would definitely recommend it to others,” said Sig Velicaria, who, as a uni student, joined the Wales University Officer Training Corps and loved it.
Earn a degree-level qualification
An Army apprenticeship is only the start. There are opportunities to progress to higher level qualifications through career training and elective learning, build the potential for a long and fulfilling Service career and an exceptional civilian career after Service ends.
The Army now offers the opportunity for senior soldiers to gain a Chartered Management Degree and last year its first cohort graduated at the end of their three year programme, with no less than 19 of its 28 graduates gaining a first class degree.
The British Army is an active supporter of apprenticeships, sponsoring awards in the National Apprenticeship Awards, BAME Apprenticeship Awards and have representatives on Regional Apprenticeship Ambassador panels because we are keen to promote and support Apprenticeships.
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Apprenticeships and Skills
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