To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, D2N2 has commissioned a series of blogs that look at what Apprenticeships offer from multiple perspectives. Kicking off our week of content is D2N2 Growth Hub LUCIE ANDREWS. In this blog, Lucie talks about the common misconceptions businesses have about apprenticeships.
As part of my role with the D2N2 Growth Hub as a Business Skills Advisor, I talk to our region’s SMEs about the benefits of apprenticeships and the process of employing one. Taking on an apprentice can have huge benefits for your business but there are still a lot of myths around the whole process which stop companies’ taking the plunge. Here are the four I hear most often:
Apprenticeships are for young people
Whilst they can be used for young people, Apprenticeships have no age restrictions and are for anyone that wants to develop competence in their job. You might also not know that Apprenticeships can form part of Career Path Development. It’s common in today’s economy to see people making multiple job changes during their careers and Apprenticeship funding allows you to undertake a learning programme that will support you in becoming competent in a new role.
Apprenticeships are only for craft or technical skills
Apprenticeships are being developed in lots of different vocational areas from Clinical Health Professionals to Architects, Engineers, and Advanced Materials Specialists. Apprenticeships have been developed by employers from a wide range of sectors to include the skills, knowledge, and behaviours needed for that job. Apprenticeships are now being used as a key recruitment tool to help individuals to change professions and become competent whilst they are in work.
Apprenticeship learning helps an employee do their job better and to a national standard which is assessed at the end of the learning period. Apprenticeships are particularly useful for developing competencies in all types of roles including general management and business expertise so are great for small business owners that want to run their business better.
Apprenticeships aren’t for Higher Level Skills
Yes, they are, and Degree-level Apprenticeships are available in a number of different areas. By offering an Apprenticeship, a business can offer degree-level learning to people they want to attract into the business or for existing staff that need to be upskilled to support business growth.
Apprentices attend local colleges, that’s not for me
Whilst it’s true that some apprentices attend local colleges as part of their studies, that’s not true for every case. Funding reforms brought in following the Richard Report in 2013 mean that private training providers and Universities are now also able to deliver Apprenticeships which helps put employers in the driving seat. The government will fund providers that deliver what employers want but they are running the old funding system alongside the new until employers start to appoint training providers and make sure that their delivery meets their business need.