Peter Behan explores the myths which surround apprenticeships and debunks some common misconceptions.

  • Apprentices are for school leavers

Apprenticeships are for everyone and a proven route into skilled employment, offering an opportunity to earn while you learn, gain valuable work experience and pursue a successful career in your chosen field. Apprenticeships can also be entered into at any age and are not just for those starting out on their career path.

  • Apprentices don’t earn very much

Apprentices must receive at least the national minimum wage and a great number of employers choose to pay more than this.

Over the long-term, individuals with an advanced apprenticeship earn between £77,000 and £117,000 more across their lifetime than similar individuals with Level 2 qualifications. It’s also not uncommon for apprentices to end up earning more than their graduate counterparts, plus they typically won’t have loans to pay back.

  • Apprenticeships don’t lead to a full-time job

Many companies choose to employ apprentices once their course has been successfully completed and over 90% of apprentices either remain in employment or continue their learning.

  • Apprenticeships don’t cover the areas that matter most to employers

Apprenticeship standards are now developed by a number of organisations who work together to create learning material that will provide the individual with the knowledge and expertise to succeed. Therefore, when an individual completes their course they possess a skillset employers are specifically looking for.

  • Apprentices are only given menial work to do

Apprenticeships are full time paid jobs and most cover a wide range of tasks, including areas of the business where there are clear skills gaps. Most organisations recognise the benefits of offering opportunities to get to know different areas of the business. According to research, a quarter of former apprentices (23%) secure a promotion within 12 months of qualifying.

  • Businesses are not currently taking apprentices on

Following a tough couple of years, many businesses have detailed plans in place to expediate future growth. New starter levels are now rising steadily and there has been a noticeable uptick in apprenticeship interest from businesses and individuals.

  • Employers don’t value apprenticeships

Apprentices are proven to add value to a business, often filling skills gaps and bringing fresh perspective to a role. Furthermore, studies have suggested that apprenticeships boost productivity and employers believe that former apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications.