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Myth-busting: top four apprenticeship myths challenged

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2020, Dominique Unsworth, Forum Member of the Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, DfE SME Apprenticeship Ambassador and CEO of Resource Productions, talks about the common misconceptions businesses have about apprenticeships.

1. Apprenticeships are a 'nice' thing to do, but we don't really have time to look after one.

An apprentice is an employee, almost like any other (except you get extra support from your training provider to manage them). It's not about 'doing good' - it's about developing your workforce by up-skilling, re-skill or filling a skills gap. As with any role within your company, recruit well and this employee will re-invent in your company, just as much, if not more, than you invest in them!

2. Apprenticeships are extra work for the company.

Like ANY new employee, an apprentice can take a month or two to settle in, but if you take care with your recruitment and find the right person for your company - you see a return on investment by month three. Manage your apprentice well and they take the load off you and increase productivity.

3. Apprentices just aren't as good as graduates.

Give me a practical, hands on hungry self-starter over an expectation-ridden, often over-qualified graduate any day. Apprentices appreciate that you are supporting their vocational training as well as paying them and they work hard and are loyal. 

4. Apprentices are just cheap labour

The Apprenticeship minimum wage is significantly lower than the living wage - in consideration of the training and time off given by the employer. However, it's NOT a cheap option, as any good employer offers the best wage they can and can only utilise the apprenticeship wage for the first 12 months of any apprenticeship.

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