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Apprenticeships – not necessarily what you think

For many, the term ‘Apprentice’ conjures up a particular image – a school leaver, probably on a vocational based training scheme. And although there are many school leaving Apprentices of this nature, there are also many maturer, professional learners working in any number of professional sectors.

Mythbust #1

Apprenticeships are not for just for 16-18 year olds. Anyone aged over 16 and employed who has not qualified for a degree level qualification could be eligible to undertake an Apprenticeship.

Mythbust  #2

Apprenticeships are not solely entry level programmes. There are Level 4 Apprenticeship frameworks which are equivalent to a degree, ideal therefore as a workforce development tool which can be tailored to deliver the skills and knowledge directly relevant to a particular business.

Mythbust #3

Apprenticeships are not only for new employees. Apprenticeships are available for new and existing employees and Apprentices are employed on the same terms as any other member of staff.

Mythbust #4

Apprentices can be paid more than the minimum wage (of £3.30 per hour). Apprentice wages can be, and are often, considerably higher. Individuals earning £15,000 pa, £25,000 pa or £45,000 pa might all be eligible for an Apprenticeship and could retain their salary whilst training.

Mythbust #5

Apprenticeships are available in more than 170 industries covering over 1500 job roles and are not confined to traditional, manufacturing based industries. From advertising to youth work via environmental engineering and nuclear decommissioning – over 100,000 employers are employing or have employed quality Apprentices in more than 200,000 locations (source The National Apprenticeship Service).


Suzanne Grant, Assistant Principal – Commercial for Sparsholt and Andover College concludes: “Apprenticeships are the ideal workforce development tool and with the huge range of frameworks now available there is a programme for every occupation. For too long, though, they have been solely associated with training for school leavers. Apprenticeships are so much more than training for young adults, and we urge employers to consider how they, their businesses and employees could also benefit.”