Is an Apprenticeship Right for You?

When deciding whether to pursue an apprenticeship there are a few things to think about, an apprenticeship is a commitment to study for 1 – 5 years.

However there are a number of misconceptions surrounding apprentices which we have de-mythed below. We hope that this article proves helpful to your research.

Off the job training means I must go to college one day per week.

Apprenticeships require 20% off the job training, this does not currently mean that you must attend college once a week. This actually refers to 20% of your normal working hours being used to totally focus on training. This time should be spent learning new knowledge and skills relevant to your job within your normal working hours. This can be accomplished in numerous ways, including sessions with your course tutor, online webinars and learning, buddying and learning colleagues roles within the business and complete functions skills and doesn’t necessarily mean going to another location.

An apprenticeship won’t lead to a permanent job.

Whilst completing an apprenticeship you are entitled to an employment contract granting to the same rights as all employees for the duration of your study. According to the latest stats from the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills, 90% of apprentices are offered permanent employment either during their apprenticeship or upon graduation. If you are not offered a permanent position at the end of your apprenticeship you will still hold a new qualification and relevant work experience to aid your next career move!

Apprenticeship qualifications are lower value than college or university courses.

Whilst it is true that in the past there has been a misconception in the value of achievement via an apprenticeship, this has genuinely changed over the past decade. More top quality colleges and universities are supporting apprenticeships now further ensuring consistency in quality across various types of education. Apprenticeship programmes can be an alternative to full time college or university and they allow you to work within a specific and relevant industry as you learn. Qualifications available to study on an apprenticeship vary from GCSE to master’s degree level and will take between one and five years to complete dependent on level.

Apprenticeships are only for lower level, entry level qualifications or vocational careers.

Programmes are available to those with a variety of experience and offer qualifications from GCSE through to Master’s degree level.

Apprenticeships are only for people who do not have qualifications.

As long as the apprenticeship you are considering involves a sufficient amount of new learning or you are looking to update outdated skills and you are not currently in full-time education then you would be eligible to begin an apprenticeship. Your regardless of previous qualifications held.

Apprentices must work full-time.

Although most apprenticeships require a minimum of 30 hours per week and a maximum of 40 hours per week part-time apprentices are available and should be discussed with an employer. Part-time apprenticeships require a minimum of 16 hours work per week.

University graduates earn more than apprentices.

The quality and range of apprenticeships on offer has increased and diversified in recent years. Statistically this evolution has increased the earning potential of those achieving apprenticeships at all levels. Apprenticeships allow you to begin earning immediately whilst continuing in your education, allowing you to gain years of full-time work experience versus full-time education to degree level. You do not pay to learn whilst on an apprenticeship, in fact you are in paid employment throughout your apprenticeship so you qualify without student debt. Your apprenticeship by definition will be directly relevant to your job contrary to graduates who are struggling to secure positions directly relevant to their degree post university.

Apprenticeships are only for school leavers/ I’m too old to do an apprenticeship.

Most may believe that you must be aged between 16 – 25 in order to begin an apprenticeship however apprenticeships do not have a maximum age limit. You must be over 16 and no longer in full education in order to begin an apprenticeship.


Our highly experienced team are waiting to hear from you. Whether you’re looking for a part-time or full-time position we are here to help. It’s time to start learning to do what you love.