Where to find apprenticeships and training schemes

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PilotIf you're looking for work, have you considered a career where you can earn as you learn?
We're living in a world where "no-one is owed a living", Prime Minister David Cameron recently proclaimed. Owed it or not - how can you make a living?

School leavers, graduates and people affected by redundancy are all facing a difficult jobs market. Over one million young people are out of work – when most would probably prefer to be employed and earning a decent wage.

However, there are a variety of apprenticeships, bursaries and training schemes available to help you secure a job, with some offering you the chance to earn as you learn. Here are a few well-known schemes and a few you might not have thought of.

Nursing bursaries
If you're interested in a career with the NHS and are accepted onto an approved nursing course, you could have your tuition fees paid in full, receive a £1,000 grant for each year of the course as well as an opportunity to apply for a means-tested bursary worth up to £4,395 a year (or £5,460 for students in London). A reduced rate loan can also be made available to help with costs while you study.


Be paid to train and become a train driver!
Get paid while you undergo practical and theoretical training for a job on the railways. The initial search for a company that is recruiting might be tough, but if you succeed you could earn around £18,000 as a trainee, rising to more like £40,000 once you're qualified.

You need certain attributes for the job, such as good eyesight and a long attention span, but you don't need a university degree.

Fancy flying a plane?
The Government recently announced new plans to train more commercial airline pilots, lawyers, accountants and engineers. These Higher Apprenticeships are in sectors deemed to have advanced skills gaps – in other words there aren't enough people recruited into these jobs to meet demand in the future.

For example, one projection estimates that European airlines will need to recruit 92,500 new pilots between now and 2030 to replace those due to retire. Even more dramatically, the UK will need to train 96,300 new engineers over just four years.

To search for vacancies, visit apprenticeships.org.uk.

Work to preserve cultural heritage
Last month the Heritage Lottery Fund announced a £13.6 million injection into the Skills for the Future and Training Bursaries Programmes. These will offer 788 new paid training placements for people who want a career in heritage.

This includes highly skilled crafts and could be anything from blacksmithing and stone masonry to botanic gardening or book conservation, among many other types of job. You can find projects on the Skills for the Future webpage.

Want to work on a luxury super-yacht?
To coincide with the rather niche Seafarers Awareness Week, the UK Sailing Academy (UKSA) announced three exclusive bursaries for young people.

The youth charity, with funding from Seafarers UK, is looking for people aged between 18 and 25 who want to become professional sailors but who wouldn't ordinarily have the money to train.

Successful applicants will attend the UKSA campus in Cowes on the Isle of Wight for a three-year cadetship, including paid work experience, with an aim to help trainees secure a lucrative career sailing super-yachts.

When the training ends, a student is qualified to work as an Officer of the Watch on the world's largest super-yachts. To be eligible for a bursary you need 120 UCAS points or the equivalent in work experience. Visit the UKSA website or to apply for a bursary direct call 01983 294 941.

Funding can be found in the most unusual places
Awards, special loans, grants and bursaries can be found from all kinds of specialist groups and societies to help training and education, which should ultimately (and hopefully) lead to gainful employment.

For example, The Vegetarian Society can offer small grants to assist people who are struggling for money to finish their education, while the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust awards up to £15,000 to craftsmen and women of all ages to study or train and help further their careers.

To find out more about some of these opportunities look at the bursary and scholarship information on The Complete University Guide website.

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