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Ten myths about apprenticeships

Clarion Housing

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

Apprenticeships aren’t just an alternative route into skilled employment. They’re also a great way to earn while you learn, helping you gain vital work experience and putting 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 science to fashion, law, banking and defence.

Myth 3: apprenticeships are low quality

At the heart of any apprenticeship is a quality experience to learn and boost your career – that’s why the government launched the

“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 won’t earn very much

There’s a common misconception among students (and, often, their parents) that a university education will set you up to earn more money long-term than an apprenticeship. But that’s a myth, because although apprentices start at a lower wage, by the time they reach graduation they’re 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 apprentice currently earns a minimum per year of £20,648.21 in London and £17,614.58 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.

Myth 6: apprentices are only given donkey work

Apprenticeships are full-time, paid jobs with training and are offered by many prestigious, high-quality companies. According to Department for Education research, 23% of 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, and since May 2015, over 625,000 people have started an apprenticeship. 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 to find a new role, or re-enter the workplace after having taken time out. For example, our team at 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, which means a growing number of employers are choosing to grow their business through apprenticeships. With employers saying that former apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications, apprenticeships do genuinely provide a stepping stone to a brighter future.

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

More than 90% of apprentices stay in employment after their course ends, with 67% getting a job with the same employer.

90% of apprentices stay in employment after their course

Apprenticeship application tips

See how to write the perfect apprenticeship application in our top tips video – and get your new career on track.

Find out more about apprenticeships

Pre-apprenticeship FastTrack courses

Give yourself the best chance at success with our short, pre-employment FastTrack course, and equip yourself with the skills, knowledge and behaviours you need for a successful interview. It includes the opportunity to shadow our recruiting team, giving you useful hands-on experience of the actual work environment, and a chance to meet the team to find out about the company and the apprenticeship opportunity.

The course is run in collaboration with our employer organisations and is available to all shortlisted candidates. The FastTrack programme is also available for all apprenticeship opportunities at Clarion.