Emma Robinson, Director of Apprenticeships and Landbased Training at BCA (Berkshire College of Agriculture)
Myth 1: Apprenticeships are only for young people aged 16-18
False. There is no upper age limit for becoming an apprentice – anyone aged 16 or over can enrol onto an apprenticeship programme.
Myth 2: Apprenticeships are badly paid
This is not true! The government sets a minimum rate for apprentices but most of our employers pay over this anyway. All apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage, as well as time off for studying, holiday pay and other employee benefits. However, apprentice wages in the UK are also dependent on a few factors: this includes your age and how much of your apprenticeship you have completed.
Take a look at the table below for a full list of pay scales, depending on age and experience.
|Age & Apprenticeship Stage||Apprenticeship Wage (per hour)|
|Aged under 18||£4.81|
|Aged over 18 (but still on the first year of your apprenticeship)||£4.81|
Myth 3: Apprentices are given all the boring tasks…
False! This is a common misconception that apprentices are only allocated the tasks that employees don’t want to do themselves. Apprentices provide real value to businesses. As part of the programme an apprentice must prove that they are learning something new each week – not just raking leaves or filing paperwork!
Myth 4: Apprenticeships are only for new employees to a business and aren’t available to existing staff
This is not the case; of course new apprentice employees are always an option but Apprenticeship funding can also be used to train up skill existing staff such as with our Level 3 Landscape Technician qualification which is for people who work with and support landscape professionals in designing, planning and managing spaces in both natural and built environments. A level 3 Apprenticeship is a great way to move forward in your career.
Myth 5: Apprenticeships are only for manual sectors
There are hundreds of different apprenticeships to choose from ranging from land based areas such as Horticulture, Arboriculture and Agriculture, which we offer at our Berkshire College of Agriculture campus, to construction trades such as Plumbing, Carpentry and Brick-laying but not forgetting other occupations such as Accounting, Business Administration, Management, Beauty and Hairdressing, which we offer at our Langley campus.
Myth 6: Apprenticeships don’t offer the same job opportunities as completing a degree
Apprenticeships are available from Level 2 up to Level 7 which is Master’s Degree level. Apprenticeships are also just as valuable as equivalent level qualifications in accessing university courses but also progressing onto higher level apprenticeships.
Myth 7: Apprenticeships are for those who are less academic and for people who don’t do very well at school
This is most definitely not the case. As mentioned in the last myth buster, apprenticeships range from Level 2 up to Level 7 (Master’s Degree level). They are not an ‘easier’ option, they are an alternative route for those seeking to learn whilst earning money and gaining valuable experience along the way.
Myth 8: Apprenticeships do not lead to full time jobs
In fact more than 90% of apprentices stay in employment after their course ends, with at least 70% remaining with the same employer.
Myth 9: Companies don’t recruit apprentices
Since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy by the government more and more companies are recruiting apprentices which is helping to reduce the skills gap and utilise that important levy! On average 250k apprentices are recruited each year in the UK.
If you would like to find out more about our apprenticeships at BCA, please contact us on 01628 827438 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org