What do you think of when you hear the word apprenticeships? You may have a good idea of what being an apprentice means, but do you have all the facts? We’ve put together some of the most common myths about apprenticeship schemes so you can decide whether it’s the right career path for you.
For more information on apprenticeships at Bath College click here.
1. I’m doing well at school so an apprenticeship is not for me
Studying for an apprenticeship will stretch and challenge you. You’ll also get the chance to learn from experienced professionals and will be set targets to make sure you’re learning at an appropriate speed.
2. You can’t go to university with an apprenticeship
If you want to go towards university, apprenticeship qualifications count towards your UCAS points. At Bath College, we’ve seen this work first-hand. One of our former apprentices, Katie Constantine, is now studying history of art at Bath Spa University.
3. In order to have a good career you have to go to university
Higher apprenticeships offer people the chance to study at university level and progress with their learning. If you have good A-level results (or an equivalent Level 3 qualification) a higher apprenticeship will offer degree level qualifications without the university debt.
4. I won’t be able to change careers if I do an apprenticeship
An apprenticeship will prepare you for a particular role, but you’re not committed to this forever. Many of the skills you’ll learn will be transferrable and, if you choose, you can use them in a different industry.
Want to see our current apprenticeship vacancies? Click here!
5. Apprenticeships are only available in traditional trades like engineering and construction
Yes, apprenticeships are available in the traditional trades like engineering, construction and plumbing. However, there are hundreds of apprenticeship standards for many different types of jobs. You can study businesses administration, management, and accountancy as an apprentice – the list is growing all the time.
6. I’m too old to start on an apprenticeship scheme
There are no age limits for an apprenticeship and from May there will be no fees for mandatory elements of your apprenticeship. Studying an apprenticeship is now an attractive way to start a career later in life for people of any age.
7. Being an apprentice is not the same as being a full-time member of staff – you’re just there to make tea and coffee.
Apprentices are treated just like any other employee. Employers are investing their time and money to train you and the goal is to get you ready to work full-time. They want you to become an integral part of the business and to do well in your training.
8. Apprentices are on low pay
Although you may not earn as much as a full-time employee straight away, your employer is paying for and supporting you with your qualification. As an apprentice, you’re able to earn while you learn which is very different from a full-time student (or even university students who will usually need to take out a loan).
9. Businesses prefer to hire university graduates for high-level positions
Employers are looking for people who have relevant work experience. As an apprentice, you can gain that valuable experience and work your way up in a company on a Higher Apprenticeship. An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to be one step ahead of graduates and be in a management position before your peers finish university.
10. I need experience to get an apprenticeship
An apprenticeship is about developing skills. Employers are looking for passion, enthusiasm and commitment, rather than someone with all the experience needed for the job.
11. Existing employees can’t do an apprenticeship
You can complete an apprenticeship if you’re already in work and this can lead to vast benefits for you and your employer. With the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, employers will be looking for new ways to spend their levy. A proportion of this will be used to upskill existing employees. For example, training aspiring staff through a management apprenticeships programme allows existing staff to progress academically and vocationally in their chosen career.
If you’re an employer, you can find information on apprenticeships here.
Interested in an apprenticeship? Let us know!
What are the next steps to becoming an apprentice?
Please complete the form below giving details of the apprenticeship you want to take and the employer who has offered you a placement.