As many students continue to grapple with the university clearing system after receiving their A-level results, the Construction Industry Training Board is urging students in the North West to consider the benefits of apprenticeships in construction as a serious alternative to going to university.
Students will also be aware of the loans they will need to fund their degree, with the average cost of a three year university degree more than £25,941.
But, if they opt for an apprenticeship, they will have their training either part or fully funded by government and CITB will support their in-scope employers with grants of up to £10,250 over three years. Apprentices will also earn a wage and have strong employment prospects when they complete training.
As the UK's largest provider of apprentices for the construction industry, CITB has reiterated the importance of apprenticeships in preparing the workforce for the future.
With economic growth on the rise being driven by infrastructure and house building, the CITB's figures show that around 3,100 construction apprentices in the North West will be available each year from 2014 to 2018.
Major projects such as the new Mersey Gateway Bridge and the Carrington Power Station as well as work on Moorside Nuclear Power Station will help to bolster the market and bring opportunity for apprentices in the region.
Mick Hamill, CITB's regional delivery manager for the North West, said: "The new regime of student loans is making many college leavers consider the full range of future career paths. Apprenticeships provide an invaluable qualification which lead to real jobs and can set up a career for life.
"These days, apprenticeship skills are much more varied and often more high-tech than the traditional trades of plumbing and electrical. They are being taken seriously by a much wider pool of college leavers than ever before."