Apprentice Myths - Busted

Find out more about common myths around apprenticeships.

Myth 1. Apprenticeships are for people who don’t do well at school

Apprenticeships are simply an alternative route into skilled employment.  They are a great way to earn while you learn and gain vital work experience.   Our apprentices come to us with a mix of qualifications and experience.  Some have a Level 3 qualification or A-Levels and others have GCSEs or have worked in a different field and are looking for a career change.  Apprenticeships give the opportunity to gain new qualifications. You will also do Maths and English if you haven’t already got these.


Myth 2. Apprenticeships are only for school leavers

Apprenticeships are available to people of all ages. This makes them a great option for anyone looking to change career, improve their skills in order to secure a new role or re-enter the labour market having taken time out for whatever reason.


Myth 3. Apprenticeships don’t lead to good qualifications

Apprenticeships come at different levels, starting from Level 2 and giving opportunity to progress through to higher and degree apprenticeships.

Name Level Equivalent  
academic level
Intermediate  2 5 GCSEs grade 9 - 4/ A* - C
Advanced 3 2 A-level passes
Higher 4,5 Foundation Degree
Degree 6,7 Bachelor's or Master's degree

More and more people are now choosing an apprenticeship as an alternative to university while nearly a fifth (19%) of advanced apprentices progress to higher education over time following their apprenticeship.


Myth 4. Apprentices will never earn very much

Apprentices must receive at least the apprentice national minimum wage.  Currently, the national minimum wage is £5.28 per hour for those in the first year of their apprenticeship.  
At the Council, we pay more than the national minimum wage at £7.97 per hour during the first year of your level 2 or 3 apprenticeship. After your first year, it will increase to £8.55 or the national minimum wage for your age (whichever is greater). These rates are reviewed annually.

Myth 5. Apprentices are only given donkey work

Apprenticeships are full time paid jobs with training.  It is definitely not the tea maker and you will learn practical work skills as well as studying for a qualification.


Myth 6. Employers don’t value apprenticeships

Research indicates that apprenticeships boost productivity to businesses by on average £214 per week so more and more employers are now choosing to grow their business through apprenticeships.
And with employers saying that former apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications, apprenticeships genuinely provide a stepping stone to a brighter future.


Myth 7. An apprenticeship won’t lead to a full time job

According to Department for Education research, a quarter of former apprentices (23%) secure a promotion within 12 months of qualifying.
In fact, more than 90% of apprentices stay in employment after their course ends, with 67% remaining with the same employer.
At TVBC, we work hard with our apprentices to find a position when they complete their apprenticeship.  All those who completed their apprenticeship in 2017/18 have gone on to higher roles in the Council. Many of our apprentices since have moved to permanent roles within the Council.

Adapted from the National Apprenticeship Service myths.