There’s a lot of misinformation out there about apprenticeships, which can make things confusing for employers.
We’re here to bust the apprenticeship myths that might be holding you back from implementing this training within your business.
Get ready to have your minds blown by the truth about these useful training schemes!
Apprentices Must Be Young People
Apprenticeships are often perceived as being solely for young people between 16 and 21. However, there is no upper age limit on this kind of training. Any person over the age of 16 can become an apprentice should other criteria be satisfied.
The idea of an apprentice being a younger person is prevalent and can prevent some employers from accessing apprenticeships in full. There can be many reasons that employers want to employ an older apprentice, from legal obligations to diversity.
As long as the prospective apprentice isn’t in full time education, there are no issues concerning their age.
Many of these older apprentices already have experience but may not have the qualification that they need to go for a higher-level role.
For example, they may have worked in HR in the past in an entry level role but want to work towards a CIPD qualification to progress to a more senior role. They may also have experienced a career change and so are starting out in a new industry without a qualification.
Apprenticeships Are Just for Trades
Traditional apprenticeships started out as ways for tradespeople to pass on their knowledge to a younger generation. Nowadays, there are hundreds of different apprenticeships which can be tailored to the job role. These can cover everything from marketing to management.
There are many of these frameworks out there, which you can also customise to some degree. This ensures that the apprenticeship is truly useful for the apprentice and for the employer.
This also ties into the idea that apprentices are less academic than their university studying counterparts. This is also a myth, as there are many apprenticeship frameworks that have a distinctly academic edge.
With the likes of accounting and engineering apprenticeships, there’s no reason to believe that these candidates are less academic. Some apprentices even achieve a degree through the course of their training.
They Need to Spend Time in College
Apprentices are required to spend 20% of their time on their development through training, with the other 80% spent on the job. This is intended to give them the perfect mix of practical and theoretical knowledge. While some apprenticeships are supported by a day per week in a college, this isn’t a requirement.
Understandably, many employers don’t want to lose this member of staff for this period of time each week. They may also have to account for their travel time within these hours.
Learning online can be a more desirable option – both for the apprentice and for their employer too. As long as 20% of their time is spent on these activities and their further development, there’s no need to attend a physical classroom.
Being able to access this training through the likes of a smartphone or tablet gives ultimate flexibility. For existing employees, this allows the training to fit in with their usual schedule instead of disrupting their role.
Only New Members of Staff Can Be Apprentices
Bringing in a new apprentice has the potential to shake things up within your business, but this isn’t the only option. Apprenticeship training can also be offered to existing members of staff to give them new skills and information.
If you identify a member of staff that shows an interest in further development, then this can be a fantastic way to nurture this. Some employers are wary of upskilling staff in case it causes them to seek employment elsewhere, but the facts show that this is actually more likely to keep them within your organisation.
In a study conducted by LinkedIn, it was reported that 93% of employees would stay with a company for an extended period of the company was to invest in their career. This study also found that 68% of employees want to learn at work and 58% of employees want to learn at their own pace.
For these reasons, a flexible training system that allows for on the job training is preferable for most. Millennials are among the most motivated to look for development within their role and this demographic is increasingly prominent in the workforce.
Existing members of staff are eligible for apprenticeships, but their pay can’t be reduced to the apprenticeship level. For example, if you have a member of staff earning £9 per hour, you can’t pay them £3.50 per hour by offering them an apprenticeship.
As long as you’re giving them new skills that will improve their competence in the workplace, they may be eligible for an apprenticeship.
There’s No Funding for Employers
When researching training for employees, employers and HR executives can feel daunted by the costs. This can feel limiting for those that have multiple employees that they wish to train and a small budget with which to do it.
The Apprenticeship Levy is there to help fund this training and decrease the skills gap in the UK. This ambitious training fund was created to help UK employers offer a total of 3 million apprenticeships by the year 2020.
If you have a wage bill that is over £3 million per year, then you will be contributing to this levy. Employers with a smaller wage bill don’t pay towards this levy, though they can still use the funding that it offers.
Applying for this grant online is simple and can be done through the government portal. There are also additional grants available for those that adopt apprentices from other industries.
If you're paying into the levy and haven't yet claimed any funds, you should be aware that these expire 24 months after they are paid in. If you don't use them, you'll lose them!
Researching the funding available to your business can make apprenticeships a cost effective means of training.
We hope that these apprenticeship myths have been well and truly busted in this article! If you’re considering apprenticeship training within your company, get in touch with us to find out more about how our flexible online learning can help.
Check out how our apprentice training can support your staff through further development.