Most employers have heard of apprenticeships, but only some truly know what they are and how they can help their business. There are many misconceptions and stereotypes that can put business owners off apprenticeships and prevent them from recruiting and upskilling the best talent.
So, let’s address some of the most common myths about apprenticeships.
Myth #01: “Apprenticeships are only for school leavers.”
Anyone aged 16 or over with the legal right to live and work in the UK can complete an apprenticeship. There is no upper age limit!
Apprenticeships are available from Level 2 (AS Level equivalent) all the way up to Level 7 (Masters Degree equivalent), so they provide a fantastic way to train, retrain or upskill at any point along a career journey. In fact, many employers encourage their existing staff to complete apprenticeships as a form of CPD in the workplace, giving them all-important additional skills.
Myth #02: “Apprenticeships are only for manual jobs.”
When you say ‘apprentice’, many people think immediately of construction or hair and beauty. While apprenticeships are fantastic ways to train in these areas, they are also high-quality routes into a vast range of other careers. From HR and law to healthcare and education, there are hundreds of apprenticeships available to choose from, regardless of the sector you work in.
Myth #03: “Apprentices don’t do any meaningful work.”
Gone are the days of apprentices being treated as dogsbodies.
All apprenticeships have an ‘apprenticeship standard’ which maps out the activities an apprentice must complete and the skills they must develop to achieve their qualification. This means they get the most out of their training and make a real, practical contribution to their workplace.
Myth #04: “Offering apprenticeships is expensive.”
Providing your wage bill is less than £3 million per year, the government pays 95% of training and assessment costs for apprentices, meaning you only have the remaining 5% to contribute. You can also apply for additional funding, including apprenticeship levy and specific grants to cover transport or training.
Myth #05: “Businesses don’t benefit from apprenticeships.”
With all these misconceptions floating around, it’s easy to see why some businesses don’t see any benefit in offering apprenticeships to new or current staff. However, developing an apprenticeship programme can be key to business development.
By creating an apprenticeship programme, you could:
- Benefit from staff who are receiving high-quality training to develop their skills.
- Train younger staff in your company’s exact ways of working while still in education.
- Develop a strong pipeline of talent coming into your business.
- Attract staff who are eager to learn continuously.
- Diversify your workforce.