Despite the numerous benefits, there are still many apprenticeship myths that put barriers up around apprenticeship schemes for both employers and learners.
Employers may find it hard to recruit apprentices for certain industries, or struggle to sell the idea of an apprenticeship scheme to internal stakeholders. The implementation of a scheme may seem costly and resource heavy.
In my experience, many key stakeholders within big businesses believe the myth that apprenticeships are too expensive to be implemented. In fact, because the levy fund can cover the majority of costs, vocational training schemes are worth it many times over, due to the skilled, productive and invested workforce that is created as a result.
Many employers and learners believe that apprenticeships are not ‘right for them’. There is still the misconception that vocational training is only relevant for the building and construction trade.
Employers are sometimes under the assumption that apprenticeships are likely to attract unskilled and inexperienced workers, who may become bored and leave, so decreasing retention rates. In fact, studies have shown that apprentices are likely to be very productive in their roles, with an improvement in self-confidence and motivation contributing to an increased ROI for the business. Vocational training programmes offering strong career progression and salary projection which is an appealing prospect for otherwise disengaged learners.
Though some employers may see traditional academic achievements as more reputable, the content that is offered on apprenticeship programmes is sophisticated, academic and focused on building real-life competencies that make candidates incredibly employable. They’re also available up to level 7 (master level equivalent) meaning this type of vocational training can be useful for upskilling existing employees too.
With the introduction of the new apprenticeship standards in 2017, vocational apprenticeships are well-structured, in-depth and require real commitment throughout the study and work elements. There is a focus on encouraging learners to take ownership of their own learning, with robust training and thorough assessments, ensuring learners and employers can get the most out of each programme.