Online Learning and How Apprenticeships may Improve Mental Health

Online learning can mean many things and it isn’t necessarily always used in apprenticeships, however it has always been a popular choice especially over the last decade. Unfortunately, the last couple of years we have not been able to make that choice. We have been forced into a way of work that not many people have been used to. This doesn’t mean just work, university/college/school students have also had to adapt to this way as well. We have all had to make sacrifices and take a huge shift in our working life and learn to adapt to it. Online learning has become the new platform that enables people to be educated right from their own home, “Hassle free” – Although this is not always the case. Some people have not found it so easy to adapt to this new world, full of technology and simply not being able to have a face to face conversation with a bog standard pen and paper combo.

What is online learning?

Online learning is also known as e-learning and it is when education takes place over the internet and falls under the category “Umbrella learning” which is when education takes place at a distance and not in a traditional classroom.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is where you are employed to do a job but you are also studying for a qualification, and that usually takes place once or twice a week with a university, college or training centre. They are a very good idea as they help you to gain the relevant experience you may need in the future, and by the time you qualify you also can take away all the skills that you have learnt. All while you are being paid to do so.

Online learning and apprenticeships come hand in hand

You are probably asking yourself this question;  how are online learning and apprenticeships linked?

Firstly, as I mentioned at the beginning, online learning can be used for anything and apprenticeship schemes often use this option as a simpler way of monitoring their studies, it also allows flexibility and allows your studies to be portable. It also allows jobs to give their apprentices the freedom and independence to get their work done to a standard that doesn’t require too much supervision. Since covid, more and more apprenticeship schemes have opted for online learning strategies and I don’t think this is a bad thing, for one we didn’t have any choice as it was either that way or no way; two it encourages independent working and leaves the students accountable for their own work.

So how can online learning improve your mental health and why?

It is proven that schools are a source of an interpersonal stressor and these can be major causes of behavioral and emotional problems including social anxiety. 

Social anxiety is one of many disorders young adolescents can be faced with all through the stress of a school environment. Studies show that globally 1 in 7 (14%) of 10-19 year olds experience a mental disorder but unfortunately a lot of these cases are largely unrecognised. Online learning has been proven to help with these daily stresses that young adolescents may face at school. Obviously I am in no way saying that your child or even you are going to experience this but all I’m saying is it is important to recognise these issues sooner rather than later. On the other hand we do need to be careful of fully isolating someone from others as this is not also healthy but i think this can be stopped when people are able to have online classes and meetings so you are still able to have that interaction with people on a daily basis. I also think that it isn’t always based on their peers, stress and anxiety can come from workload too, so taking in consideration good time management and ensuring you are on top of work will always help.

How do you feel about online learning?

There is a lot of stigma around working from home, people say it’s more distracting, you don’t get as much work done etc. But I believe that it all boils down to you as a person, as it goes for this whole blog. I’m not saying I’m right or wrong, I just want to give my opinion in the hope that I can help someone that may be struggling or has struggled in the past. We all work in different ways and I think that it’s important to try out ways of coping if you are someone that struggles. 

By Autumn Wheatley


Leave a Reply