Breaking Boundaries with Apprenticeships – by Mackenzie Finch

Throughout our existence we strive to reach our full potential, gain vital skills and produce results. Each decision we make leads us to destinations that we may not have ever envisioned. This is all part of our journey and is the reason why a variety of options should be offered and explored in order for us to make informed decisions. However, so many of these options are inaccessible due to the out-dated mainstream views of the schooling system.

During my time at my school sixth form the university route was highly promoted and recognised as the only way to succeed. I was never told about apprenticeships and was under the impression to steer clear of them. The idealised picture of attending university was punctured into each student’s mind every single day, and I can recall having infinite assemblies on why university was the only route available in order to be successful. I can only think that the word ‘apprenticeships’ was never uttered because of the negative stigmas that we still sometimes face around it.

It was only after I decided not to undertake my unconditional university offer that I started to research apprenticeships and found that many employers offer degree level positions. I can only think that many people think twice about apprenticeships because they have not been made aware of this pathway or because they are often branded to be for the less intelligent.

This certainly is not the case, as I have found out from completing my Digital Marketing Apprenticeship with New City College.

An apprenticeship is essentially a real job where you learn, gain experience and get paid a salary. You’ll spend 80% of your time on the job at your place of employment and 20% at your place of study, you won’t have to pay course fees and you’ll be able to choose from a wide variety of positions. Have I persuaded you yet? What’s not to like?

With an apprenticeship you are not only gaining a recognised qualification, but you are gaining the vital skills acquired from being in an experienced work environment. This is something that university does not offer and is what makes an apprenticeship a good choice for many young people.

Another strength of apprenticeships is that students get paid a salary whilst completing their studies. In contrast to university, where the learner would have to take out a loan in order to pay for their tuition fees, this is a huge advantage as the vast majority of prospective students often fear the extortionate debts that graduates face. Choosing an apprenticeship pathway enables young people to achieve the most whilst spending the least.

The negative stigmas around apprenticeships need to be challenged often and I hope that my blogs give you a real insight into why apprenticeships are such a good and equal alternative to the mainstream university route.

I can honestly say that I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t undertaken my Digital Marketing Apprenticeship role with NCC.

Finding and applying for this apprenticeship has been one of the best decisions I have made throughout my education journey, not just because of the qualifications I have gained, but also because of the amazing people that I get to work with.

I can’t wait to continue my career in this field and #GoBeyond my boundaries.

If you’re considering an apprenticeship, check out our vacancies here:


Read my other blogs about Apprenticeships here