Apprenticeships: the myths you need to stay away from
Apprenticeships appear to have gained a significant increase in momentum over the last few years. Once upon a time they were almost scorned upon, but now they are seen as a viable alternative to higher education.
Of course, the economy doesn’t help matters – and the ability to earn instant money is sure to be appealing to would-be students.
However, this is an area which is interesting to say the last. It’s something which is filled with myths and misconceptions, but fortunately these seem to be cast aside if you were to review the interest and popularity of UK apprenticeships from City and Guilds and similar schemes.
Nevertheless, for anyone who does have reservations about apprenticeships, here are some of the myths that you need to stay away from.
Apprenticeships are all about physical jobs
This first myth is probably related to the historic knowledge of apprenticeships. It’s true; once upon a time the only apprenticeships that were available were the ones of the physical variety. Nowadays, the outlook is completely different.
Sure, there are still a lot of physical ones available, but it’s worth mentioning that there are more than 250 different types of jobs as well. It means that you could find yourself doing something related to music and fashion – it doesn’t have to be one of the stereotypes like plumbing.
If you’re a high-performing student, you should stay away from apprenticeships
Again, this is something of a historic misconception. Just because a person chooses an apprenticeship doesn’t mean to say they aren’t academic – the message is usually that they would just rather get straight into work. There’s a huge element of learning in apprenticeships as well; it’s not just a case of turning up to work and not receiving the education that university provides.
Considering the fact that so many large companies are offering significant apprenticeship positions, it stands to reason that they are open to everyone – the elite included.
The earning potential of apprenticeships is low
If you were to compare the starting salary of a university graduate and apprentice, there would only be one winner. There’s no doubt that the starting wages of apprentices are low – but that doesn’t mean to say that they stay low. Something that graduates struggle with is experience; most of theirs arrives from the classroom. This is something that works to an apprentice’s advantage and by the end of the journey, you have just as much chance of netting a higher salary.
There are no qualifications associated with apprentices
This isn’t true in the slightest. For example, if you were to complete an intermediate apprenticeship, it’s the equivalent of 5 GCSEs. If you were to have a higher apprenticeship, it can be the same as a foundation degree.
When you start to add the experience-factor into the equation as well, the qualifications argument really is null and void. Also, if you decide to at a later date, you can use these qualifications as a path to university and more advanced ones.