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10 myths about apprenticeships

Discover the truth about the great career opportunities an apprenticeship can provide – from qualifications and skills to salaries and promotions.

Myth 1: apprenticeships are for people who don’t do well at school

Apprenticeships are simply an alternative route into skilled employment. They’re a great way to earn while you learn, gain vital work experience and set yourself on a fast track to a successful career.

Myth 2: apprenticeships are only available in manual industries

While this might once have been the case, apprenticeships are now available in over 1,500 occupations across 170 industries, ranging from nuclear to fashion, law, banking and defence.

Myth 3: apprenticeships are low quality

Quality is at the heart of apprenticeships which is why the government launched the Institute for Apprenticeships to ensure all apprenticeships deliver the same high quality training. Employer trailblazers is a group of employers that have come together to design new apprenticeship standards. They have also been involved in developing new apprenticeship standards, so apprentices can be sure that they are learning the skills employers need.

Myth 4: apprenticeships don’t lead to good qualifications

Apprenticeships offer a ladder of opportunity so learners can progress from traineeships and intermediate (level 2) apprenticeships right up to higher and degree apprenticeships. More and more people are now choosing an apprenticeship which then progresses on to university, via the degree-level apprenticeship route. So, you can gain the same university-level qualification via the apprenticeship route, but without having to pay back a huge university debt.

Myth 5: apprentices will never earn very much

There is a common misconception among students (and, often, their parents) that a university education will set you up to earn more money than an apprenticeship. Although apprentices start at lower wage, by the time they reach graduation they are just as qualified as a graduate, but with the added benefit of real work experience. And remember, you’ll be without the burden of student debt.

For example, a Clarion employed apprentice currently earns a minimum per year of £20,243.34 in London and £17,269.02 outside London. In the long term, people with an advanced apprenticeship earn between £77,000 and £117,000 more over their lifetime than similar people with level 2 qualifications. And those completing a degree-level apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime.

“In my previous roles, I felt I had no sense of direction, whereas with this apprenticeship, I feel as though the opportunities are endless. This role has given me the confidence to believe in myself and my abilities; it has put the ambition back in my future.” – Abdul Habib, Clarion Futures apprentice

Myth 6: apprentices are only given donkey work

Apprenticeships are full-time, paid jobs with training and many high quality, prestigious companies offer them. According to Department for Education research, 23% of former apprentices secure a promotion within 12 months of qualifying.

Myth 7: businesses are not taking apprentices on

Apprenticeship participation reached a record high of nearly 900,000 in 2015-16, with 625,000 people starting an apprenticeship since May 2015. At any one time, there are up to 28,000 quality apprenticeship vacancies available:

Myth 8: apprenticeships are only for school leavers

Apprenticeships are available to people of all ages making them a great option for anyone looking to change career, improve their skills in order to secure a new role, or re-enter the workplace after having taken time out. For example, Clarion Futures recently employed a 63-year-old apprentice who now has a permanent role at the organisation.

Myth 9: employers don’t value apprenticeships

Research indicates that apprenticeships boost productivity to businesses by on average £214 per week, so more and more employers are now choosing to grow their business through apprenticeships. With employers saying that former apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications, apprenticeships genuinely provide a stepping stone to a brighter future.

Myth 10: an apprenticeship won’t lead to a full-time job

In fact, more than 90% of apprentices stay in employment after their course ends, with 67% remaining with the same employer.

Find out more

Our Clarion Futures Apprenticeship team can help you progress into your next role or secure a permanent job with the organisation where you completed your apprenticeship. Email our team to find out more.

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