One of the major problems surrounding apprenticeships is the amount of misinformation and stereotypes about what they are, who they are for, and why you would do one. For a long time, people have held a particular idea about apprenticeships that no longer reflects reality, meaning not as many people are turning to apprenticeships as they should.
As well as connected employers and job seekers, one of our primary aims here at Employing an Apprentice is breaking down those stereotypes and providing people with the facts. We want to equip employers and job seekers with real information about apprenticeships to promote their value and success.
In this article, we are going to bust five common myths about apprenticeships, and in doing so, show you why they are a great way to earn and learn!
Five incorrect assumptions about apprenticeships
They are just people who didn’t do well at school
The assumption that apprenticeships are the easy route, or a route for people who couldn’t do anything else, is an extremely damaging and unfair stereotype. Apprenticeships are a form of skills-based, vocational learning which means they tend to suit those who don’t love a traditional classroom environment. This does not mean that they are only for people who didn’t do well at school; many major companies across the UK offer competitive apprenticeships for some of the country’s brightest and most talented students. Apprenticeships come in all shapes and sizes, meaning that they are brilliant for people with various abilities.
They are only available in specific industries.
Another very common myth about apprenticeships is that they are only for people who want to work in construction or want to be electricians and plumbers. This is an outdated idea of apprenticeships. In reality, apprenticeships have been expanding for years and are available across the creative, healthcare, tech and public service industries. Have a browse of our apprenticeship standards search tool to find apprenticeships in finance, marketing, teaching and more.
They are always entry-level jobs and salaries.
Connected to the belief that apprenticeships are only for people who didn’t do well at school is that they are only for people leaving school. This is entirely false. Apprenticeships are offered up to qualification level seven which is the equivalent of a master’s degree. This means that you can do an apprenticeship at any time in your life, whether that’s after leaving school, college or university, or well into your career. Furthermore, despite the apprenticeship minimum wage being relatively low, many companies choose a salary that reflects the level of the role.
They don’t help your career.
Statistics show that roughly 64% of apprentices stay on in their company after completing their apprenticeship, and a further 20% find work elsewhere straight away. This shows that doing an apprenticeship is an excellent way of securing yourself a permanent job and earning qualifications to help advance your career. The government have stated that apprenticeships and technical education will play a significant role in rebuilding the economy as they believe they are an excellent vehicle for long-term, meaningful employment.
You have to do them at a college.
Many people wrongly believe that doing an apprenticeship means going into college to study. An apprenticeship requires you to spend at least 20% of your time doing off-the-job training. Still, you can complete this training in a variety of different ways depending on the level of the apprenticeship. Degree apprenticeships, those at level six and above, are partnerships between an employer and a university, meaning you would spend 20% of your time at university. Further, some apprenticeships use a separate organisation to specialise in education and training in that industry. And some companies are even able to offer their training in-house.