There are countless myths and mistaken presumptions surrounding the subject of apprenticeships. When you thinking about what an apprenticeship actually entails, you may only conjure images of builders wearing hard hats. Or perhaps you believe that they limit employment opportunities compared to taking a more “traditional” route into work, such as going to university.
These are just two ideas that could damage the reputation of apprenticeships, and they aren’t accurate either – so we thought we would take it upon ourselves to dispel myths about apprenticeships, and show you that they are educational, informative and indeed a very worthy way of dipping your toe into the world of work.
Myth 1 – Apprenticeships are just for physical trades such as building
While clearly no apprenticeship or industry is better than any other, there is a common misconception that apprenticeships are only available in more “manual” and physical skilled trades, such as building or engineering. This is incorrect, as there are also more “academic” options, likely to be within an office space, to choose from too, in fields such as law and accountancy.
Law graduates and those with other non-law degrees have an opportunity to qualify as a lawyer through CILEx.
For example, at Bott and Co an apprenticeship can help you achieve the career milestones of becoming a Paralegal, or Chartered Legal Executive. Apprentices undertake the relevant training and are assessed by their learning provider and workplace – you don’t always need to be in a role wearing protective headgear to be doing an apprenticeship!
Myth 2 – You have to go to university in order to become a Solicitor
Bott and Co is a shining example of the fact that you don’t need a degree in order to become a solicitor – many of our colleagues have chosen CILEx (the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) as an alternative route into law. Bott and Co also works with CILEx Law School for distance learning students studying law through the apprenticeship programme.
Law graduates and those with other non-law degrees have an opportunity to qualify as a lawyer through CILEx. It has a variety of qualification levels with entry levels staggered dependant on any qualifications already held. Recruitment is ever evolving, and it is reassuring to know that there are constantly growing channels to help people into employment.
Myth 3 – Apprenticeships are just a way that employers can take advantage of staff
Many accuse employers that take on apprentices of capitalising on the fact that sometimes apprentices are paid less. However, there is personal investment, time and effort placed into the individual training on an apprenticeship, and it is highly likely that an apprentice could receive a pay rise when fully qualified. In fact, in April this year, the national minimum wage for apprentices is set to rise.
What’s more, the National Apprenticeship Service has reported that, “An advanced apprenticeship can enhance a lifetime’s earnings by between £77,000 and £117,000, when compared with standard Level 2 qualifications. And if the apprentice goes on to study for a higher or degree-level apprenticeship, the corresponding hike in earnings can reach a whopping £150,000.”
Myth 4 – Apprenticeships are becoming a thing of the past
Firstly, Bott and Co can contradict the above myth, as we are always on the lookout for promising young individuals wanting to kick start their careers – you only have to read some of our testimonials to figure that apprenticeships are a fantastic gateway into full time employment, strengthening CVs and boosting confidence. Figures from the Department of Education in early 2018 showed that a huge 114,000 people commenced an apprenticeship. This may be due to the schemes looking more and more attractive due to huge university fees, and the fact that the job offerings are constantly broadening and improving.
Myth 5 – Apprentices are given tedious, insignificant jobs
There is a misunderstanding that apprentices are just given the “donkey work”, such as making teas and coffees and solely doing endless admin jobs like photocopying and scanning. But this simply isn’t true – success apprenticeship stories at Bott and Co have found that people have thoroughly enjoyed gaining practical knowledge and implementing legal theory into practice – far from menial!
In April this year, the national minimum wage for apprentices is set to rise again.
Depending on what sector or industry apprenticeships have entered into, there will likely be the opportunity to liaise with clients, learn real office processes and get to know the nuances of individual situations to become accomplished in their roles.
We hope that we’ve helped to challenge some outdated and incorrect views surrounding apprenticeships – you could learn about the industry you want to enter first hand, with authentic experiences and also while earning your own wage at the same time; what’s so wrong with that?