A Graduate or an Apprentice?

Graduate or an Apprentice Apprenticeships have become very popular as a valuable way of training young people on the job, supported by financial incentives.

But how do you determine whether a vacancy is for a graduate or an apprentice?

Perhaps some roles are better for steady permanent staff whilst others are more suited to a graduate? But how do you determine the difference?

Transferable vs Technical Skills

The apprentices’ role is technical

Apprentices are brought into a company to undergo a period of training for a specific job. The apprentices’ role is technical and narrow in nature and is generally supported by others with the same technical skill.

Graduates have developed a wider range of transferable skills which they can apply to problem solving , analytics, presentations etc. They may have learnt technical skills but can also apply a higher level of skills to it.

Supervision vs Mentoring

 a good graduate shouldn’t need a great deal of close supervision

Graduates should be able to hit the ground running within a month of settling into the company. They have the skills but may need to bridge the gap from academia to real life business initially. However a good graduate shouldn’t need a great deal of close supervision but instead benefit from a mentor.

Apprentices in more technical roles require a much more closely monitored level of supervision. They will be keen but will have a lot to learn.

Career Paths

You may imagine that graduates will jump ship after a year as they start on a meteoric career. Many may have the ability but perhaps lack the desire or circumstances get in the way. However it is no bad thing to plan to keep a graduate for only 1-2 years then replace when they move on.

After all the training that goes into an apprentice, a company can rightly expect to keep the apprentice for a long time. But this may have been the catalyst and being so much more employable they may decide to move on quickly.

So I’m not convinced that graduates move on any quicker than apprentices from smaller companies. A lot will depend on how well they’ve been supervised or mentored within the company during that time.

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