In 2018/19, 742,000 people were participating in apprenticeships in England. Despite this high figure, there are still many misconceptions surrounding apprenticeships.
Apprenticeship schemes are a brilliant way to learn while you earn and for gaining valuable experience, skills and a qualification upon completion. Apprenticeships come in various levels, durations and industries, providing an alternative pathway to those who have just left school, who have just completed their A levels, who have completed uni and even those who want a career change later down the line.
We want to dispel all of the misconceptions surrounding apprenticeships to demonstrate clearly the benefits they can provide. Here are some common misconceptions, and why they are false:
They are Only Good for Trade Industries
With the huge number of apprenticeships available these days, spanning across a whole range of industries, it is safe to say that apprenticeships aren’t just for those who want to learn a trade. From accounting to midwifery, and marketing to watchmaking, the range of apprenticeships available is so vast these days there will definitely be something out there for you.
They are Only for People Who Didn’t Get Good Grades in School
This is simply not true. It is true that apprenticeships provide a great route into employment, but they are also beneficial for upskilling or switching career paths at any stage of your working life. With many different levels of apprenticeships available, you can choose an apprenticeship dependent on your current skill level.
They aren’t Worth as Much as Degrees
This will depend on the level of apprenticeship you choose to study. Intermediate apprenticeships are equivalent to 5 GCSE passes, advanced apprenticeships are equivalent to 2 A level passes and then higher and degree apprenticeships cover the equivalent of a foundation degree, full bachelors and even master’s degrees.
They Only Lead to Lower-Paid Jobs
This is certainly untrue. Firstly, apprenticeships offer the benefit of being paid the national minimum wage for your age whilst you learn, in comparison to paying out for education if you choose to go to university. Furthermore, the Sutton Trust found that an individual who completed a level 5 apprenticeship can expect to earn an average salary of £34,220 over their working life, a higher total of estimated earnings than those who obtained a degree from a non-Russel Group university. Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind an apprenticeship provides you with both education and experience, standing you in great stead for when you enter the job market.
They are Only for Young People
Apprenticeships are definitely not just for young people. There is no upper age limit to starting an apprenticeship. 46% of apprentices who started in 2018/2019 were by people aged 25, and there was a 21% increase in people starting an apprenticeship aged between 35 and 44. Apprenticeships provide a great opportunity to gain further education or qualifications in a whole variety of fields. As apprenticeships come in a range of levels, you can start an apprenticeship when you leave school, when you leave university or even when you are in your 30s, 40s, or 50s and are looking to refresh your skills or change careers.
The opportunities that apprenticeships offer are vast.
If you want to know more about choosing an apprenticeship that is right for you, visit our guide on becoming an apprentice.