Five Myths About Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships have changed. More and more young people are choosing to do apprenticeships as an alternative to going to university. 

School and college leavers are starting a career months after finishing their GCSEs or A levels. 

They are earning while they're learning, gaining valuable work experience as they work towards professional experience - some apprentices even get a degree! All this without having to pay back-breaking tuition fees. 

The transformation of apprenticeships has significantly increased the career options for young people. Companies that offered the most sought-after graduate schemes are now employing apprentices straight out of school. 

And yet, some students, parents and teachers still have negative attitudes towards apprenticeships. 

So here five myths about apprenticeships and the truths behind them. Make sure you have all the facts and explore every pathway when you're considering your next step after school or college. 

apprenticeship myths parents

MYTH #1  Apprenticeships are just for tradespeople

REALITY    Apprenticeships are available in a crazy range of industries and job roles

Apprenticeships were traditionally associated with trade industries, like plumbing and construction. You can now do an apprenticeship in a wide variety of sectors, from accounting and banking to consulting and engineering.

The range of schemes on offer has increased significantly. Now, there are programmes available in over 1,500 different job roles, across 170 sectors. 

MYTH #2  Those who go to university are always better off

REALITY    Many school leaver schemes fast-track your career

For careers in many different industries, university isn't always the fastest route in. Apprentices receive on-the-job training, as well as earning the qualifications that are required for a particular profession. They are work-ready!

In fact, a study by the Sutton Trust suggests that higher level apprentices can expect to earn over £50,000 more than most graduates in their careers.. 

MYTH #3   University degrees are needed for most jobs

REALITY    31% of graduates are in non-graduate level jobs

Not long ago, if you headed to university, you were considered to be at an advantage to those who hadn't. No more. The UK now has more graduates than it has graduate jobs. 

So ask yourself, do you need to go to university to pursue your dream career? If you want to be a doctor or a dentist, you will need a university degree. For most other highly-skilled professions there are alternative pathways that avoid tuition fees. 

MYTH #4   University is the best route for high achievers

REALITY    More and more students with top A levels are choosing to do apprenticeships

Organisations that offer the most sought-after graduate schemes also offer apprenticeships. 

Students who would usually go to university and then apply for a graduate scheme are starting work immediately after they leave school or college. Employers are giving high achieving students the chance to start a career earlier than traditional graduates.

MYTH #5   Apprenticeship qualifications are worthless

REALITY    Qualifications are nationally recognised, and you can even get a degree!

All apprentices work towards a qualification, regardless of what type of scheme they are enrolled on.


These qualifications are recognised nationally by both employers and higher education institutions, and you can work your way up the ladder by moving on to higher level apprenticeships as you qualify. In some sectors, such as accountancy, you can actually qualify quicker than a graduate!

Did you also know that 19% of advanced apprentices progress to university over time? Degree apprenticeships are also proving a very popular choice for both past apprentices and those with A Levels.

If you're ready to start an exciting career, choose an apprenticeship. Like cereal box competitions, they are an amazing opportunity. And if you're asking yourself 'what's an apprenticeship?' Tell me even more!' our website has lots of resources packed with the latest facts!