Confused about apprenticeships? Not sure how to sort the fact from fiction? We've got you covered!
More and more young people are choosing to do apprenticeships as an alternative to going to college and university. School and college leavers are starting a career months after finishing their GCSEs or A-levels.
Here, we’ve put together some of the top myths about apprenticeships, along with the real facts.
Myth Buster: Absolutely not true! Apprenticeships are available for anyone over the age of 16 and are suitable for school leavers, graduates, career changers later in life and returners to work. In fact, in the 2023/24 academic year, Under-19s account for just 32.7% of apprenticeship starts (42,740).
Myth Buster: Not at all! Apprenticeships are for everyone - regardless of your academic background. They all have different entry requirements, just like any job or further education course, so it’s all about finding the best starting level for you.
Myth Buster: Wrong! An apprenticeship is a real job where you learn, gain experience and get paid. You’re an employee with a contract of employment and holiday leave. Apprentices are treated just like any other employee with the same rights, tasks, projects, and responsibilities. The main difference between you and another colleague is that you will also be studying while you work!
Myth Buster: Incorrect! The employer and government pay for all of the training. This means that unlike university, you can achieve a qualification without having to take out a student loan.
Myth Buster: Wrong! Apprenticeships provide an opportunity for you to develop your work experience and gain skills related to the industry to help you progress. Employers recognise that applicants will not necessarily have previous work experience.
Myth Buster: All apprentices are currently entitled to a minimum of £5.28 per hour, which will rise to £6.40 in April 2024. However, lots of companies will pay more than the minimum rate. There are also different rates of pay depending on your age, what year of your apprenticeship you’re in and the level of responsibilities and education you take on.
Myth Buster: Apprentices are given the opportunity to work on real projects from day one - not just take out the bins or file paperwork! However, it's important to remember that tasks given to apprentices are all part of the learning process to aid development and progress.
Myth Buster: While this might once have been the case, apprenticeships are now available in a wide range of sectors and industries - with new ones in development all the time. It’s about finding the right route for you and what will best suit your interests and learning style.
Myth Buster: The stats say otherwise! There were 130,830 apprenticeship starts between August and October in 2023 (up by 7% from 2022/23) and apprenticeship achievements increased by 22% to 37,400 (compared to 30,650 in the previous year).
Myth Buster: An apprenticeship is a work-based route to get you into your chosen career. Completing an apprenticeship can make you a great asset to a company as you will have lots of industry experience and skills by the time you’re qualified.
Myth Buster: Wrong. One of the best things about completing an apprenticeship is the number of transferable skills you will develop. If your apprenticeship takes you to a career that you love and enjoy, then great! If not, then take your skills and use them elsewhere.