There are many apprenticeship myths which put employers off hiring apprentices for their company. These common misconceptions can overshadow the many business benefits of taking on apprentices. Here we bust 10 of the most common myths to help you make an informed decision on whether to hire an apprentice.
1. Apprentices must be school leavers
Of all the apprenticeship myths, this is probably the most common, but it certainly isn’t true. Apprentices don’t necessarily have to be school leavers; this type of training is available to all ages. An apprenticeship is a great option for those who want to change their career, boost their skills or re-enter the labour market. This gives you, as an employer, a broad range of candidates to ensure you find the best match for your business.
2. Apprentices must be new employees
Apprenticeships can be offered to existing staff in your business as well as new employees. If you want to upskill a particular employee, or you have a member of staff who is keen to develop, then this type of training is ideal.
3. There’s no funding for employers
Businesses can get help from the government to pay for apprenticeship training. The amount of funding you’ll get depends on the type of business you run but you could get up to 95% of the training costs paid for you!
4. There’s no support for employers
An apprenticeship is a three-way relationship involving the apprentice, the business and the training provider. This means that you are not on your own when training your apprentice. The training provider is responsible for your apprentice’s formal training, assessment and qualification. They will also provide you with updates on their progress. Along with the financial support from the government, this makes hiring an apprentice much easier than many people think.
5. Apprenticeships are for people who don’t achieve at school
This is also one of the most common apprenticeship myths. Apprenticeships offer an alternative, hands-on, approach to learning. They are available to people of all ages and backgrounds and can attract a broad range of candidates. Whilst some might prefer the practical way of learning, others are attracted by the option to earn as they learn. An apprenticeship offers the opportunity to learn a new skill without the cost of training. Many apprenticeship positions require previous academic achievement of a certain level, especially in maths and English, where others are happy for apprentices to study functional skills alongside their main training programme.
6. Apprenticeships are just for manual industries
Whilst apprenticeships may traditionally have been associated with trades, things are very different today with a wide variety of training options available as an apprenticeship. Businesses can hire apprentices in everything from customer service, marketing and hospitality to hairdressing, carpentry and plumbing, with many more options in between. Higher-level apprenticeships allow people to learn up to degree level on the job.
7. Apprentices don’t earn much
Whilst training, apprentices under the age of 19 are entitled to the apprenticeship minimum wage rate which is £3.90 per hour, rising to £4.15 in April 2020. This usually means they are earning significantly more than their peers working a part-time job alongside studying at college. Those over 19 are entitled to the same rate during their first year of training, rising to the normal minimum wage rate for their age after that. Upon qualifying, those who completed an apprenticeship earn between £77,000 and £117,000 more in their lifetime than those with standard level 2 qualifications.
8. Apprenticeships don’t offer good qualifications
Apprenticeships are a fantastic career pathway, offering the chance to begin at level 2 and progress to level 3 (the equivalent of an A-Level) and beyond, with some studying higher and even degree level apprenticeships. More than 4 out of 5 apprentices state that their apprenticeship has improved their career prospects and 85% progress to permanent employment or further training.
9. Apprentices leave the company after qualifying
A massive 90% of apprentices stay with their employer after completion of their training. This gives you peace of mind that most of the apprentices you hire will be a worthwhile investment. That being said, you are under no obligation to offer an apprentice employment once their apprenticeship comes to end, giving you the flexibility to do what’s best for your business.
10. Hiring an apprentice is complicated
Hiring an apprentice is not as complicated as it may seem. You simply need to choose an apprenticeship framework or standard relevant to your industry, select a training provider offering the qualification/subject related to the role, check what funding is available, advertise your position and select a suitable candidate. The government website provides all the information you need.
The Oxford College of Apprenticeships offers a range of apprenticeship training programmes. If you would like to discuss them with us in more depth, we would love to hear from you. You can call us on 01865 515 255, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill in a contact form.