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Top 10 Apprenticeship Myths

Wednesday 4 November, 2015

There are many conflicting stories about Apprenticeships so detailed below are the real facts behind 10 Apprenticeship myths:

1. “Graduates Earn More Than Apprentices”

People often believe that apprenticeships won’t pay enough, but there are a lot of apprenticeship schemes that pay more than the national minimum wage so it’s worth keeping an eye out. At first glance this doesn’t seem like a lot of money but be sure to counterbalance your options. In the long term you actually end up saving money through an apprenticeship scheme, you have no debt and the opportunity to earn whilst you learn! Not forgetting the pay increase once you’ve received your qualifications. 

2. “Apprenticeships Are Only For People Who Don’t Get The Grades To Get Into University”
Don’t feel obliged to go to university just because people are telling you to. Take time to do your research, talk to people who are currently completing an apprenticeship. Get a personal understanding from someone who is hands on and decide what personally interests you. During your A-levels, the best thing to do is keep your options open. If you apply to universities and apprenticeship schemes simultaneously, you will widen your career path. This gives you a bit of breathing space to make a decision. 

3. “Apprenticeships Are Only Relevant For Studying Within Blue Collar Industries e.g. Construction, Plumbing etc)”
There’s a stereotype that apprenticeships are only available in certain trades but you can actually find apprenticeships in a wide range of sectors. There are over almost 200 different apprenticeships to choose from, with over 1,200 job roles, ranging from engineering to accountancy, veterinary nursing to law and public services.  

4. “Apprenticeships Are Only For Young People”
This is a complete misconception. The growth in the number of apprenticeship starts has been largely driven by an increase in the number of apprenticeship starts by people aged 25 and over, totalling 114,000 in 2009/10. You can become an apprentice at any at time in your life as there’s no age limit! The only difference is that 16-24 year olds are funded by the government. If you’re over 24, you could still train as a Modern Apprentice but funding works differently. In most cases, it will be funded by your employer.

5. “I Won’t Have A ‘Real’ Job”
An apprenticeship is a real job, but with FREE training included and most schemes are full-time like a regular job.

6. “Graduates Have Better Career Prospects”
Most companies continue employment once apprentices have completed their training. 85 per cent of apprentices stay in employment and two thirds remain with the same employer. Research from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills showed that a third of former apprentices had received a promotion within a year of finishing, and of those in work, three quarters reported taking on more responsibility in their jobs!
Graduates often have the struggle of finding a job relevant to their degree or even a job at all when leaving university.  In 2013, the unemployment rate for graduates, six months after leaving university was 7.3% This is due to massive competition of graduates looking for work each year within the same period. Becoming an apprentice puts you one step ahead of the game and it could potentially put you in a position of management by the time your peers have finished university.

7. “Business Prefer To Hire University Students”
Think again! A study has shown that over 80% of employers from the AllaboutSchoolLeavers report in 2015 predicted that the number of apprenticeships starters would overtake graduates within the next five years! Statistics have also shown that there were 440,000 starts in England in 2013/14. 

8. “University Is A Better Route Into Employment Than Apprenticeships”
ABSOLUTELY NOT. Becoming an apprentice puts you in a much better position than anyone that has just left university. Almost half (47%) of recent graduates in the UK are working in jobs that are non-graduate roles and the unemployment rate for recent graduates at 9%, has increased from 5% in early 2008. So, if you already have an idea about how you would like to progress in your career then doing an apprenticeship will put you in the perfect position to develop within a company and gain an understanding of  the working environment in your chosen field.

9. “I Won’t Gain A Recognised Qualification”
There is a variety of qualifications that can be offered with an apprenticeship.In England, there are three levels of apprenticeships, which each lead to different levels of qualification:

• Intermediate – equivalent to 5 GCSE passes
• Advanced – equivalent to 2 A-level passes
• Higher – lead to NVQ level 4 and above or a foundation degree.

Depending on your chosen scheme, you could end up with: a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ); a Functional Skills qualification; a technical certificate, such as a BTEC Higher National Certificate (HNC); a Higher National Diploma (HND) or a foundation degree.

10. “Apprentices Miss Out On The Student Life”
Working full-time as an apprentice does means you won’t be able party every weekday however, you’ll have the weekends to visit and unlike your student friends, you’ll have money to pay for drinks! Plus there’s the bonus of having no debts, student loans or overdrafts to pay off afterwards.


Above information courtesy of Find Apprenticeships Blog