Myths Surrounding Apprenticeships

Myths Surrounding Apprenticeships
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Despite the fact that apprenticeships are now a well-established part of our professional landscape, there are a number of misconceptions that surround the practice. Allow EduCare to debunk those myths and help you make a sound decision on whether an apprenticeship is right for you.

As September approaches, many young men and women across the UK are preparing to apply for apprenticeships to help them in their professional development. An apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training (OJT) and related classroom instruction under the supervision of a journey-level craft person or trade professional. It offers the opportunity for a student or young professional to learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation, like building, carpentry or mechanics.

1. Apprenticeships Don’t Offer Financial Security

Unlike internships, apprenticeships are paid for by the government and your employer. Depending on your age, you should check out what wage you’ll be paid, as there are different national wage requirements depending on your age bracket. The national minimum wage for apprentices starts at £2.68, which applies to apprentices aged 16 to 18. Apprentices aged 19 or over who have completed their first year get paid the national minimum wage for 18 to 20-year olds.

However, the majority of apprenticeships actually pay much better than this, so you should absolutely check the fine print.

2. I Won’t Be Helping My Job Prospects

Most apprenticeships have the same schedule as regular full-time jobs. The SFA states that the number of hours worked must be at least 30 per week, just 7.5 hours less than the 37.5 worked on regular contracts. This can be reduced, but only in extenuating circumstances. Because your apprenticeship counts as work experience, you can also add it to your CV immediately.  

Apprenticeships must also last for a minimum of twelve months, with the majority lasting between one and four years. And what’s more, there’s a very strong tradition of being hired in a full-role capacity by the same company once you’ve completed your apprenticeship. An apprenticeship provides you with skills in a specific trade, which is actually more likely to increase your chances of getting a job.

3. Apprenticeships Are Just For “Blue Collar” Jobs

While this might have been true once upon a time, it’s absolutely not the case today.

There are now more than 250 different types of apprenticeship available, offering over 1,400 job roles. These range from accountancy to textiles, engineering to veterinary nursing, and business administration to construction. There are still some professional roles which you have to achieve a university degree to be considered for — like being a barrister or a doctor — but in most cases, you should explore the apprenticeship options that are available in the professional track you’re interested in.

4. It’s Still Not As Good As Going To University

Despite many social beliefs to the contrary, the average retention rate for apprentices and school leavers among top employers currently sits at 91%. Apprentices themselves have also reported that many of their peer equivalents who went to university are struggling to get into the job market.

Competition among graduates is only increasing with university intake at a record high. There is no sign of the current job crisis subsiding anytime soon. Statistically, the current success rate for getting on an apprenticeship program is actually higher than a graduate position.

For information on Safeguarding and Duty of Care relating to apprenticeships see EduCare’s wide range of courses.

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