Apprenticeships are a great way to gain work experience whilst developing valuable skills and knowledge. However, there are a number of myths floating around that can put people off, so below we’ve explained why they are exactly just that, myths.
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Myth 1: You can’t get a good qualification doing an apprenticeship
Busted: Apprenticeships allow you to gain a nationally recognised qualification while working in a real job. There are various levels of qualifications you can work towards during your apprenticeship, ranging from a Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship to Level 4 and 5 Higher Apprenticeships. You can even work your way up to a Level 7 Master’s Degree Apprenticeship in some industries.
Myth 2: Apprenticeships are just for young people
Busted: Apprenticeships are relevant for everyone over the age of 16 looking to improve their skills and progress their careers. They can be for both new members of staff and members of the existing work force.
Myth 3: Apprenticeships are only entry level – they are for low skilled people
Busted: Apprenticeships are available from Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) right through to Levels 6 and 7 (equivalent to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree). Some apprenticeships may also offer additional professional qualifications, such as ACCA. You can check the Institute for Apprenticeships website, which is constantly being updated as new standards become available.
Myth 4: You can’t study an apprenticeship if you have a degree
Busted: If you have a degree you will be still be eligible to receive funding to obtain a new apprenticeship qualification. This is as long as your new qualification is different and offers substantial new knowledge while you learn, gain vital work experience and set yourself on a fast-track to a successful career.
Myth 5: Apprenticeships don’t lead to good qualifications
Busted: Apprenticeships offer a ladder of opportunity so learners can progress from Traineeships and Intermediate (Level 2) Apprenticeships right up to Higher and Degree Apprenticeships. More and more people are now going into apprenticeships as an alternative to university, whilst nearly a fifth (19%) of advanced apprentices progress to higher education following their apprenticeship.
Myth 5: Apprentices will never earn very much
Busted: Apprentices must receive at least the national minimum wage (currently £4.15 per hour for 16-18 year olds and those aged 19 plus in the first year of their apprenticeship), though many employers do choose to pay more. In the long-term, individuals with an Advanced Apprenticeship earn between £77,000 and £117,000 more in their lifetime than similar individuals with Level 2 qualifications. While those completing a Higher (degree level) Apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime.
Myth 6: Employers don’t value apprenticeships
Busted: Research indicates that apprenticeships boost productivity to businesses by, on average, £214 per week, so an increasing number of employers are now choosing to grow their business through apprenticeships. Also with employers saying that former apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications, apprenticeships genuinely do provide a stepping stone to a brighter future.
Myth 7: An apprenticeship won’t lead to a full time job
Busted: In fact, more than 90% of apprentices stay in employment after their course ends, with 67% remaining with the same employer.