A Parent’s Guide to Apprenticeships

Despite the growing popularity of apprenticeships as a career path, there’s still not enough information readily available to parents on what’s included in an apprenticeship and how their child can benefit from the career opportunities made available through these pathways.

In this article we address some of the most common apprenticeship myths and give parents a summary of the wealth of benefits that apprenticeship can offer your son or daughter.

Common misconceptions about apprenticeships

Apprenticeships offer a fantastic gateway to a range career opportunities. However, despite employers’ reports of a rise in the numbers and quality of candidates, both young people and parents maintain their wrong perceptions of the courses.

Here’s the truth behind the most common myths parents and students believe:

  • Apprenticeships are restricted to a certain age group

Some employers may have specific requirements, but on the whole apprenticeships are open to anyone aged 16 or over.

Far from being a plan ‘B’ for those who perform poorly at school, apprenticeships are a fantastic alternative to higher education for those who want to combine learning with work experience and earning.

Available to learners from all ages and not just school leavers, apprenticeships are the perfect solution for people looking to upskill, re-enter the workforce or even change their career path.

  • Apprenticeships are restricted to the manual industries

Originally a way for crafts people to pass on their trade skills, apprenticeships nowadays are a route into a much wider a range of professional fields. There are qualifications for most career paths at Educ8, including Management, Health and Social Care, Childcare, Advice and Guidance, Customer Service and Business Administration.

Most industry sectors are happy to hire apprentices and will provide then with equal opportunities to succeed.

  • Other job alternatives are better paid than apprenticeships

Some jobs do offer better salary compared to apprenticeships when you add up the hours. However, the opportunities to develop and progress professionally are definitely greater for employees with a qualification.

  • Completing an apprenticeship won’t lead to quality full time employment

Another false notion many parents have about apprenticeship is the idea that if their child doesn’t go to university, their career prospects will be diminished.

Working for a specific company as part of the course also allows apprentices to make a positive impression on employers, often earning themselves an offer to continue in a full time role before their apprenticeship is even over.

In fact, most apprentices move on to full time roles after the course, with starting salaries reaching as high as £25,000, which is more than what many university graduates earn when they first enter employment.

What the degree equivalent is of each level of apprenticeships?

When comparing universities and apprenticeships, remember both paths provide your child with degree level qualifications. With apprenticeships now available up to and beyond a degree level, learners can apply to different levels based on their skills and qualifications.

Here’s the breakdown of apprenticeship levels and their educational equivalent:

  • Level 2 – 5 GCSE passes at Grades A*– C or 9 – 4
  • Level 3 – 2 A level passes
  • Levels 4, 5 and above – Foundation degree and above
  • Levels 6 and 7 – Bachelor’s or Master’s degree

By mixing traditional learning with on the job training, learners complete their apprenticeships with an industry recognised set of qualifications. To fully assess the abilities and competence of apprentices, some courses might feature an assessment as part of the qualification requirements.

When helping your children plan for the future, remember the importance of the qualifications as a launchpad to a great career, and the fact that a number of prestigious employers are growing their business through apprenticeships.