Interested in design? Don’t feel like full time education or university is the best option for you? A design apprenticeship is a brilliant combination of having a full-time role as well as additional training and learning. This means that you can achieve industry standard qualifications in a career that you are passionate about, whilst getting paid a salary! 

Here are the top 5 reasons to consider a design apprenticeship:

1. Gain “Hands-on” practical experience not available anywhere else

An apprenticeship is a brilliant way to gain experience in the design industry with a more “hands-on” approach to learning, where practical experience is at the forefront of the many courses available. This is perfect for learning the right skills in a professional environment, which is exactly the type of experience future employers are looking for. At Spicerack, I spend most of my time planning and executing projects for both internal and external clients. This has allowed me to have opportunities to pick up new skills such as UX/UI design and put them into practice with unique and broad projects. This is an experience that you will not receive from other forms of education. This allows me as an apprentice to gain the right skills and knowledge to help stand out from the crowd in the ever growing design industry. As apprenticeships offer a change from the classroom and lectures, most of your time will be spent learning on the job and completing real work for real clients, which I find really exciting to be a part of. 

2. Learn from those already experienced and gain transferable skills

Whilst completing your apprenticeship you will not only be constantly gaining transferable skills that will help you throughout your career, but also building on personal skills and qualities such as communication, time management, and team-work. Furthermore, you will be acquiring skills from those already experienced in the design industry including your colleagues and apprenticeship training provider. Examples of these as a Level 3 Junior Content Creator at Spicerack include becoming proficient in the Adobe Creative suite, learning new software such as Figma and Balsamiq to create low and high fidelity wireframes for web design, and also having the experience to work on projects for exceptional brands and clients like Dyson and SEGA. 

3. Different levels of apprenticeships to help progress your career

Design apprenticeships are not confined to one specific course or level of difficulty. You may also not be aware that they are not confined to age or any other characteristics. This makes them appealing, whether you are just starting your career after school, college, sixth form or university, or you are looking to progress your career further when you are already in a design role. There are different levels of design apprenticeships which you should apply for based on your current skillset and abilities. For example, if you are already in a full-time design role or you’re a well experienced freelance designer, a Level 4, 5, or 6 apprenticeship might be more appropriate for you. This is because they are degree level apprenticeships and assume that you already have a strong set of skills and knowledge. However, if you are a school leaver or just finished college a level 2 or 3 apprenticeship could be much more suitable as this teaches you the fundamentals of design and content creation and prepares you for future work in the industry. At Sixth Form, I achieved an A* in a Graphic Communications course, which allowed me to progress onto the Level 3 Junior Content Creator apprenticeship. From here, I could take what I learned from my time in Sixth Form and improve upon these skills as well as further my training and education.

4. Avoid student debt and earn while you learn!

One of the major perks of becoming an apprentice is that your employer will pay you for your training and provide you with a salary. This is great as it allows you to still do the things you love to do outside of the apprenticeship and also means that you won’t have to pay a large student debt off. This is an issue that many students who decided to go to university face. I love traveling, so being able to save up and not worry about student debt has been a major factor in allowing me to explore new places when I am not at work or college.

5. Greater sense of achievement and enjoyment from what you do

A design apprenticeship is a great way to feel a sense of achievement that you may not get from other educational routes. This is because you get many opportunities to produce high-quality work for clients with active feedback and consistent, thorough professional advice on how well you are progressing. As a result this will create a unique and greater sense of achievement compared to feedback from a teacher or lecturer in a college or university. As with any new job, apprenticeships are a great way to meet new people, create professional relationships, and make good friendships.