With the government pledging to create 3 million apprenticeships by the year 2020, there are quite literally millions of reasons to consider one as an option after school or college. With the government keen to address the skills shortage in certain areas while tackling youth unemployment, they have turned to the apprenticeship scheme as a solution. With apprenticeships offering a wage, on-the-job experience, training and a qualification to prove what you know they should be an appealing prospect for many young people. However, there are still a number of misconceptions which are still preventing some from even looking into an apprenticeship as an option.
While university is still a much sought-after route for those leaving sixth form college, the cost of tuition and simply living while at university has caused some to think again. University is great for some, but it is not a one-size-fits-all solution for your career, nor does it guarantee that you will land a top job. Here we address five common myths about apprenticeships in 2016:
- Apprentices Are Poorly Paid
There is a real concern that apprenticeships are badly paid, leaving apprentices as little more than cheap labour for companies wanting to cut their wage bill. This common concern is simply untrue. Businesses are on the look-out for the best candidates to join them, and are often willing to pay more than you might imagine to secure them. It is true that your wages will be higher once you have qualified, but in return for this you will receive training to get the skills you need for your career – all without having to pay thousands in tuition fees!
- An Apprenticeship Is Not A ‘Proper’ Job
Another misconception is that an apprenticeship is not a ‘proper’ job. In fact, apprentices are treated just like any other employee with rights and responsibilities. You will be doing work that is important to the business as the goal is to get you ready to work full-time. The main difference is that you will be receiving training while you work, often including a day release every week for some form of classroom-based learning too. However, this aside, an apprenticeship is very much like a regular job – even down to how you find and apply for one!
- University Graduates Earn More Than Apprentices
There is a common belief among students (and their parents) that a university education will set you up to earn more money than an apprenticeship. However, this is not shown in the statistics. Sure, there are some graduates who go on to earn good wages, but so do many apprentices, and all without the burden of debt from paying tuition. Apprentices also have the benefit of real work experience to draw upon and often go straight into work once they qualify. By contrast, many university students struggle to find appropriate work once they graduate and end up doing a job that they could have landed without three years of uni study and fees! In fact, far from being preferable, there are some good reasons not to go to university!
- Apprentices Are Stuck In The Same Profession For Life
These days a job isn’t necessarily for life and many people change their careers or employment over the course of their working lives. This goes for apprentices as much as anybody else. Of course, an apprenticeship will generally prepare you for a particular role or career path, but with many transferable skills there is no reason to feel you are locked in to a particular career forever. Of course, if the apprenticeship takes you to a career that you love then there is nothing to say you can’t stay put, but equally there is nothing saying you can’t take you skills and use them elsewhere.
- Businesses Aren’t Taking Apprentices On
Like any job, an apprenticeship may depend on where you live - you will be unlikely to find many sea-based opportunities living in Leicestershire, for example! However, with the government pledge to create more apprenticeships it is clear that the number of opportunities is set to keep rising. Plus, with the advent of the apprenticeship levy, which is paid for by employers to help fund apprenticeships, you can bet that even more businesses will start to look at how apprentices can change their recruitment policies. Apprenticeships are available in a broad range of industries, and you may just find one in the area that you would like to work. You can check out the variety of apprentices available right here on NotGoingtoUni – surely it’s worth a look, at least?