Click the FAQs below to break down the myths of Apprentices.
- 1. Apprenticeships are only for people aged 16-18
This is one of the most common myths we hear! Anyone aged 16+ can apply for an apprenticeship, there is no upper age limit. There are thousands of current apprentices over the age of 25.
You may be able to upskill within your current role using an apprenticeship programme or if you want a change of career you can apply for our apprenticeship job vacancies!
- 2. An apprenticeship isn’t a proper job
Yes, it is! An apprenticeship is a real job where you learn, gain experience and get paid. You’re an employee with a contract of employment and holiday leave. By the end of an apprenticeship, you’ll have the right skills and knowledge needed for your chosen career.
A proportion of your apprenticeship will be spent ‘off the job ‘and used for training and working towards a qualification.
- 3. Apprenticeship wages are not good
The apprenticeship wage is the same as National Minimum Wage for under 18s. This is the MINIMUM that an employer must pay but many employers do pay above this. If you are 19+, your wage will increase to national minimum wage for your age after the first 12 months. Please remember too, that you are not paying for your qualification and won’t have a student loan, like university students. You will even be paid for time to study! Minimum wage information can be found here.
- 4. Apprentices pay for their training
Not at all. The employer and government pay for all of the training. This means that unlike university, you can achieve a qualification without having to take out a student loan. For 16-18 years olds that work in Lancashire, you can also apply for a free bus pass to help towards travel costs!
- 5. It’s difficult to find an Apprenticeship
Apprenticeships are very competitive so the more you try, the better your chances of securing that dream job! Runshaw College currently has over 40 live vacancies and this changes on a weekly basis. Finding the right Apprenticeship takes time and a lot of effort, so the more pro-active you are, the better your chances are of securing an interview/job offer. Why not contact local employers directly? Ask friends and family about any opportunities and send your CV out to businesses that offer the jobs you are looking for.
Runshaw College has a live database of vacancies, which is updated regularly:
- 6. An apprenticeship will limit my career opportunities
This is not true! There are apprenticeship opportunities in every sector and they come with the opportunity to take different qualifications, which can lead to promotion and salary increases. Every apprenticeship works to a standard and at Runshaw all our apprenticeship programmes have an embedded qualification.
- 7. There are no perks to being an apprentice
You can earn while you learn as an apprentice. Your company may have a benefits scheme, pension scheme as per government guidelines or bus passes and student discounts.
- 8. Are there Different Levels of Apprenticeships?
There are several levels of apprenticeships. Runshaw College offer three levels of apprenticeships:
- Intermediate apprenticeships (Level 2)
- Advanced apprenticeships (Level 3)
- Higher apprenticeships (Level 4/5)
- 9. What does an Apprenticeship involve?
The majority of your time is spent in the workplace with most of your training being on the job. You will have ‘off-the-job training’ which is additional training taking place at Runshaw College or at your workplace (programme specific).
- 10. What is Off-the-Job Training?
Off-the-job training is learning that takes place outside of your everyday work duties. This takes place within your normal working hours. It can occur in the workplace, at college or via online learning. Your off-the-job training is an essential part of achieving your apprenticeship.
- 11. What is On-the-Job Training?
During your apprenticeship, you will be with other company employees learning the skills needed for your job.
- 12. How long does an Apprenticeship last?
The length of the apprenticeships depends on the programme and the level of qualification you are working towards. They take a minimum of 12 months to complete.
- 13. How Many Hours will I Work in a Week?
There are rules about working hours for apprentices. You can find more information here.
- 14. Is there a job at the end of my apprenticeship?
This will vary by employer, your employer may issue you with a permanent or fixed term contract at the start of your employment. If you are on a fixed term contract your employer may offer you a permanent contract based on your performance and contribution.
- 15. What’s the difference between an Apprenticeship and Attending College Full Time?
College students usually spend around three days a week at college. As an apprentice, you are employed, receive a wage and work each day, whilst completing your apprenticeship qualification.
- 16. Can Anyone Become an Apprentice?
To apply for an apprenticeship, you must:
- be 16 or over (there is no upper age limit)
- live in England
- not already be in full-time education
- you must meet the entry requirements for the specific programme
- 17. Can I be an Apprentice if I am already Working?
Yes. You can change your career or stay in your current position and upskill your job.
- 18. Why Should I Choose an Apprenticeship?
You’re employed and getting paid to train. An apprenticeship allows you to get transferable skills and knowledge and great work experience, all whilst you earn a wage and get a qualification at no cost to yourself. An apprenticeship is ideally suited for those who enjoy hands-on experiences rather than continuing in full-time education.
- 19. How do I Find an Apprenticeship?