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Busting Apprenticeship Myths

Apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity for people of all ages to gain workplace skills and earn money at the same time. That being said, it is alarming to note the amount of school leavers who either have no idea about the benefits of an apprenticeship or they have a lot of misconceptions about them. Santander have conducted research into this and found that only 44% of 15-16 year olds are familiar with them and only as little as 8% of that group consider an apprenticeship to be an alternative to University.

This blog aims to dispel some of the common misconceptions about apprenticeships and hopefully encourage you to take your first steps on the career ladder.

Cheap labour…

Many people believe that employers use apprenticeships as a crafty way to exploit young people and get them to do the jobs that nobody else wants to do; however, this is not the case. Employers are investing a lot in the training and development of the apprentices that they take on with the hope of eventually hiring them full time once they are fully qualified.

The apprenticeship minimum wage is currently £3.70 per hour, although many employers choose to pay above and beyond that. Many employers also offer performance related pay rises and if you are 19 years old when you complete your first year as an apprentice, then your wage increases to the national minimum for your age category.

I could earn more stacking shelves…

While this may be true when you start out your apprenticeship, as noted above, there is the opportunity of performance-related pay rises and a salary increase when you finish your first year if you are over 19.

It is also worth bearing in mind that this kind of work won't necessarily provide you with the same kind of professional development and career progression as an apprenticeship can. You are also likely to earn more in the long term with the skills you gain from an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships are for non-academics…

This is a particularly archaic misunderstanding about apprenticeships and couldn’t be further from the truth. All apprentices are assessed by a learning provider, completing regular coursework and sitting exams. Apprenticeships are even available at Master’s Degree level!

I’m too old to do an apprenticeship...

Although some employers may have a preference when it comes to the age of the apprentice they are looking to hire, there is absolutely no cut-off age, as long as you are over 16 and have 5 GCSE’s A*-C then you are encouraged to apply!


IIf you would like to find out more information about becoming an apprentice, check out the rest of our website!

Alternatively, you can email us at apprenticekent@theeducationpeople.org or give us a call on 03000 414005.