Whether you’re an employer that is cynical about up-skilling your team through an Apprenticeship, or a student debating between University or an Apprenticeship, this article is here to debunk some common myths that may be deterring you from the Apprenticeship route.
We’ve been working in the apprenticeship space for a long time now. One thing we’ve noticed is how apprenticeships are misconceived in the eye of the public. Can we tell you a secret? Apprenticeships are for everyone! That’s right, they are designed for people of all ages and abilities and are a fantastic way to work, learn and earn a qualification all at the same time.
Have we got your attention? Great! We’re here to dispel the ten common myths about apprenticeships.
Ten common myths about apprenticeships that aren’t true
Myth 1: Apprenticeships are only for school leavers
Myth number one! Apprenticeships are for everyone of all ages, not just school leavers. If you are 16 or 60, there will be an apprenticeship out there for you, so whether you are looking for the first step in your career or maybe a career change, an apprenticeship could be the perfect option. So don’t discount doing an apprenticeship before you’ve researched.
Myth 2: I can’t do an apprenticeship and work full time
False! Apprenticeships are designed for precisely this. You work and study simultaneously, taking your theoretical knowledge and applying this to learning on the job. That is the beauty of an apprenticeship. What’s more, you get paid for doing it!
Myth 3: Apprenticeships don’t offer the same job opportunities as degrees
Apprenticeships offer the same, if not more, opportunities than degrees. Many apprenticeship pathways result in a degree-level qualification, but the bonus is that you get to implement what you learn from day one. Apprenticeships are available from Level 2 (GCSE) up to Level 7 (Master’s Degree).
Myth 4: Apprenticeships are for the less academic and people who don’t do well at school
This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. Apprenticeships are all about allowing individuals to study and work simultaneously and are just as mentally challenging and rewarding. Furthermore, apprenticeships are open to everyone.
Myth 5: Apprenticeships are only for new staff to the business – existing staff don’t qualify
This myth is one that many people don’t realise, but apprenticeships can be for anyone – new or existing staff included. Staff can make the most of apprenticeship funded training to upskill and develop within their career, especially if they entered a role at entry-level and would like a qualification. Equally, apprenticeships are a perfect option for new staff into the business.
Myth 6: Apprenticeships are low-quality training options
Who said this? With the new Apprenticeship Standards launched in 2017, training is on par with some of the best schools and establishments in the country (and world) and offer high-quality teaching to individuals looking to earn a qualification. Plus, you get the bonus of learning from academic teachers and practitioners at the same time!
Myth 7: Apprenticeships are only available in manual industries
Nope! Years ago, this might have been the case; however, apprenticeships are much more inclusive and are now available in over 1,500 occupations and guess what, marketing is only growing!
Myth 8: Apprentices will never earn very much
Apprentices legally have to be paid the national minimum wage, set at £4.30 per hour. The minimum apprenticeship wage applies to everyone aged 16-18 and anyone aged 19 or over who are in their first year. All other apprentices should be paid the national minimum wage for their age. Businesses can also decide to increase this.
Once qualified, apprentices can earn the same as or more than their counterparts in a company and have the same opportunities for financial safety as other routes into skilled work.
Myth 9: Businesses are not taking apprentices on
You’re in luck because the number of businesses taking on apprentices is increasing! The government has been pushing the apprenticeship route hard over the last 12 months to encourage more people and businesses to choose this as a career path. Companies will receive a bonus if they hire more apprentices and get more people into work. So, keep your eyes peeled for opportunities.
Myth 10: Employers don’t value apprenticeships
Last but not least, some people feel as though employers don’t value apprenticeships which turns them off from the idea. We are here to reassure you that employers do value apprenticeships and are actively encouraging more people to go down this route. Research shows that apprenticeships boost productivity by an average of £214 per week, so it would be silly for employers not to support this career route!
There you have it. Our complete apprenticeship myth buster! Have we changed your mind?
If you’re interested in learning more about how apprenticeships work for learners and employers by checking out our Apprenticeship overview.