Five Myths about Apprenticeships
We’re heading towards the end of September now, which means everyone has either started or returned to college and sixth form, and fresher’s weeks throughout the country are well underway for those starting university. Of course, people can decide to go to sixth form, college and university but come to the realisation that maybe it’s not for them, so they have to think about what they want to do next. Maybe you’re in that position now?
If this is you, you might be considering an Apprenticeship so that you can get paid and learn on the job, but have a few pre-conceptions that put you off? If so, we’re here to help by busting the five most common myths about Apprenticeships, so you know exactly what to expect, and can begin your hunt for employment.
1. Apprentices are mainly there to make the tea and coffee
Our first myth about Apprenticeships, and a very common one, is that they won’t really see you getting the full experience of the job, and you’ll be used more for handy jobs like making the tea and coffee and doing basic tasks. This isn’t the case at all, an Apprenticeship is completely different and isn’t comparable to say, getting into a job as a runner in the movie industry. In fact, employers who take on an Apprentice have strict guidelines to follow to make sure that their Apprentice is gaining the skills and experience they need for their own development and to help complete their NVQ coursework. The Apprentice will also have an Assessor from the Apprenticeship provider who checks how they are getting on, and what they are learning on the job as their Apprenticeship continues.
Also most businesses wouldn’t take on an Apprentice just to have an extra body in the workplace, they genuinely want to provide a platform for young people to get into their chosen career and learn on the job, and wouldn’t purposely hinder their progression by only giving them menial tasks to complete.
2. Apprentices are only paid minimum wage
As well as carrying out basic tasks, it’s also a common (and incorrect) assumption that Apprentices don’t earn much and are all paid the National Minimum Wage, this isn’t true. While many employers might choose to pay their Apprentices minimum wage, unions are always negotiating higher pay rates for Apprentices, well above minimum wage. In fact, the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices would see you earning roughly £100 per week, the average pay rate for Apprentices is £170 per week.
And if you were paid minimum wage, it’s really not that low and continues to improve. In the last two years alone, the National Minimum Wage for all Apprentices aged 16-18, and 19+ in the first year of their Apprenticeship has risen from £2.73 per hour to £3.50 as of 1st April 2017.
3. Apprentices don’t gain any qualifications
This one is completely untrue, the short answer is that they do. In the case of our Apprenticeships, you will be working towards an NVQ Level 2, 3 or even 4 (in Business Administration) qualification, which is a nationally recognised vocational qualification and will impress any employer in the future. Now, this does mean that a fairly large amount of coursework will be required to be completed during your Apprenticeship, but your employer will provide you with plenty of time in work to get it done. Your time spent working will still form the crux of your Apprenticeship, so it won’t feel at all like you’re back at school.
4. It’s a step down from University
A lot of people might think that Apprenticeships are for those that didn’t choose (or couldn’t get into) further education like University, so are a step down. This isn’t the case at all, University definitely isn’t the only path into any industry. It might be for some, you won’t find an Apprenticeship as a doctor or a scientist without a degree first for example, but for a huge amount of careers, employers will value the experience you’ve gained from an Apprenticeship just as much as the degree that someone gains from University. Think of it this way, in the three years that it would usually take someone to complete their University course, you could’ve completed your Apprenticeship in year one, and then gone on to work full-time in those next two years, so that’s a three year experience gap between yourself and someone that has come out of University with a degree, something that will mean a lot to many employers.
5. You can only get Apprenticeships in certain jobs
Our last myth to bust about Apprenticeships is that the amount of industries that take on Apprentices is limited mainly to ‘manual’ jobs such as in the construction industry. Not at all, a huge variety of businesses in any industry see the need for an Apprentice. On our website alone, you will see that our vacancies are divided into a massive 20 different industries ranging from childcare to catering, estate agency to marketing, and administration to hospitality.
With these myths dispelled, have we convinced you to take on an Apprenticeship and find out first hand what they’re like? If so, take a look at our 60+ vacancies here.