Myth #1: Apprenticeships are just for school leavers who want to do something manual
Fact: Apprenticeships are for everyone – no matter your age or background
Whilst the level of funding varies, you can be any age over 16 to do an apprenticeship! What’s more, it will never cost you a penny – if there are any costs, these are covered by your employer. With the apprenticeship levy now in force, thousands of employers now have funds they must allocate to apprenticeship training, so there has never been a better time to apply.
Even if you already have a degree or years of experience in a particular field, an apprenticeship can help you retrain in a new career, or give you the ‘on-paper’ qualifications you needs to progress to the next step. Likewise, if you are fresh and new to the world of employment or do not think university or A-Levels are for you, an apprenticeship is a great place to start and earn while you learn!
There’s also a lingering misconception when it comes to apprenticeships that they are just for manual-skilled professions such as electricians, or mechanics, but this is simply not the case now, and maybe never was! Many high-flying careers of every kind started out by applying to be an apprentice. The only real requirement for your career interests is that you are a curious hard-worker who wants to learn and gain experience.
Myth #2: I can’t do an apprenticeship because I already have a job I love and don’t want to give it up
Fact: Apprenticeships are done while you work – maybe even at your current job in your current position
The unique thing about apprenticeships is that they are work-based. Better still, you earn money whilst you learn new skills and now, because of the levy, many employers have funds they must allocate to apprenticeship training. What does this mean for you?
Well, even if you are in a job that you love, there may still be free training available to you that will allow you to carry on in your current position, whilst picking up the new knowledge and experience an apprenticeship brings. Chances are, if you are in a company that has more than 120 employees, your manager is waiting for someone to come forward and claim this training – for free!
The benefits to you are boundless – from learning something new to career progression, and maybe even extra pay once you earn your qualifications. In fact, according to recent government research, 36% of higher apprentices report getting a promotion after completing their apprenticeship and 92% of apprentices in work felt that their apprenticeship had had a positive impact on their career. Don’t forget, many apprenticeships are the equivalent of A-Levels or Degrees, so it can be an extremely affordable and worthwhile way of achieving your goals, all whilst working.
Myth #3 Apprenticeships are poorly paid
Fact: Apprenticeships are well paid!
Whilst the minimum requirement for apprentices from aged 18 is £5.30 per hour, more than nine out of 10 employers are willing to pay more than the typical apprenticeship wage, provided they are matched with the right candidate and once you’ve completed the training, you are very likely to be in-store for a pay rise or promotion. In many fields, the difference between pay for graduates and apprentices is in fact negligible!
Don’t forget as well, you have the same access to benefits as other employees in the company, such as a minimum 20 days paid holiday per year in addition to bank holidays and sick pay. If the company you want to work for offers childcare vouchers, gym memberships or birthdays off, you are entitled to this as an apprenticeship too!
And while the money certainly helps, don’t forget, apprenticeships are one of the most cost-effective ways to gain skills, qualifications and experience, especially in comparison to university costs. There are no fees to apprenticeships, the only expense to you will be your living costs, which you would have to pay regardless anyway! Compared to ever-rising university tuition fees, or the dreaded unpaid internships, you will be quids in as an apprentice!
Whether you're an employer wanting to know more about offering apprenticeships, or you are here to find out about being an apprentice, give us a call on 01452 886 888 and speak to Ewen Saunders for more information on how we can help.
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