Myths About Apprenticeships

Myths About Apprenticeships

5 min Read

In the last few years apprenticeships have become more popular than ever. Whether you are an aspiring lawyer or engineer, employer or manager, there are apprenticeships available for most career routes. Yet there are a number of myths about apprenticeships that stop many from choosing this route.

A study carried out by City and Guilds Group found that adults believe apprenticeships to be better in the areas of value for money, skills and preparation for the workplace. But when asked if they would take the apprenticeship route, most would still choose university. Apprenticeships are fantastic for those looking to start their career, but the thought of university still reigns supreme.

So why are they still frowned upon? What are some of the myths about apprenticeships?

Myth 1: Apprenticeships are for labour intensive work

In the past yes, but apprenticeships have expanded further than ever before. No longer are apprenticeships for those in manual or labour-intensive positions; there are now 600 apprenticeship standards available across the UK. These can range from childcare to digital marketing, business administration to graphic design. Of course positions such as engineering, IT, Constructions etc. that were associated with apprenticeships are still there, but the number of opportunities to start dream careers continues to grow.

Myth 2: Apprenticeships are for people who couldn’t get into university

That is a huge NO. Thousands who apply for apprenticeships have been to university and got their degree. For decades university has been seen as the best way to get your foot onto the career ladder, but that isn’t always the case. Some may come to realisation that they don’t want to do that as a profession or that university isn’t right for them. Apprenticeships are great as you can gain nationally recognised qualifications, gain hands-on experience and also get paid for doing it! Yes, you will miss out on the infamous fresher’s week and student deals, but in the long run it will be worth it.

Myth 3: I’ll get better job offers if I go to university

Having a degree in your chosen field from university is huge and very impressive. You would give 3 years or more towards learning which shows focus and dedication. It’s nothing to shy away from, but that doesn’t mean that you will be able to get a better or higher paid job positions. In the past having a degree did mean that you could find jobs easier, but now employers also look for hands-on experience and skills for that sector. For many who leave university it’s hard to find work straight away. When apply for roles most will require at least 2/3 years of experience in that area (not including study), which can make it hard when looking for full time work.

Myth 4: Apprenticeship pay isn’t worth applying for

The rate of pay for apprenticeships does continue to rise, with the minimum now £4.15 an hour (averaging £700 monthly) as of April 2020. Of course for some that isn’t enough, but it doesn’t stay that low forever. Rate of pay increases throughout the apprenticeship, with the minimum working wage coming into effect after 12 months. The biggest advantage to this is that you won’t have to pay for any training, at all. So although the pay is lower, you will save a lot more money or have to worry about university loans or debt.  

Myth 5: Apprenticeship qualifications aren’t as highly recognised

There are different qualifications in the apprenticeship scheme, from intermediate all the way up to Degree level. So no matter your skills, knowledge or standing within an apprenticeship, there is something for everyone. The levels are as follows:

  • Intermediate – Level 2 (GCSE equivalent)
  • Advanced – Level 3 (A-Level equivalent)
  • Higher – Level 4, 5, 6 and 7 (Foundation degree and above)
  • Degree – Level 6 and 7 (BA and Masters equivalent)

The nationally recognised level that most apprentices complete is Level 3. Though it may be equivalent to A-Levels, it’s the experience and skills developed that employers love to see.

Yet apprentices don’t have to come from outside the business. Whether you are an employer who sees someone with potential, or an employee who would love to move up the business, apprenticeships can help. Known as Up-skilling this is the chance to build skills and stay within that sector.

Myth 6: The employer will let me go once I finish my apprenticeship

There are some employers who will unfortunately let you go once you have finished. But most will offer you a full-time position or even a promotion! 80% of employers feel that apprenticeships reduce staff turnover and 83% of employers rely on apprenticeships to provide the skilled workers they need. Employers turn to apprenticeships to find the right people within their profession, from those who have some experience to none at all.


With so much change in the last decade, apprenticeships have become a successful way to gain the knowledge, hands-on experience and qualifications for a future career. But there is still a long way to go before apprenticeships are no longer overshadowed by the thought of university. Many are still stuck on theses myths about apprenticeships, keeping it off the radar for many looking for alternatives. Though there is so much uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic, apprenticeships are still going strong and just waiting for the right people to come along.

How 360 Apprenticeships can help

Whether you are looking to an apprentice or start your apprenticeship journey, 360 Apprenticeships can help. We provide a free service from first point of contact to the successful placement of each apprentice. Every apprentice who is successful will only be placed with the best training providers (Graded 1 and/or 2 by Ofsted) so you know that everyone is in safe hands.

You can find out more regarding the apprenticeship scheme on our website. To speak to one of our recruiters directly, you can contact us on:

0161 4644805

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