The government plans to create three million apprenticeships by 2020, yet the number of learners opting for the apprenticeship route in England continues to fall.

As one of the UK’s largest Apprenticeship providers to the public sector, Premier Partnership Apprenticeship Delivery Manager Ceri Moore has identified five common myths around apprenticeships – could they be discouraging apprentices starting new programmes?

Apprenticeships are only suitable for roles in manual environments – FALSE

While this might once have been the case, apprenticeships are now available in over 1,500 occupations across 170 industries and apprentices combine on-the-job training with their studies. Health, business, engineering, retail, and construction were the most popular sectors for new apprentices in England last year. There is even a new Police Degree Apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships are only for school leavers – FALSE

An apprenticeship can be a great opportunity for school leavers who choose not to go to university, but equally a chance for people in existing roles to either change career or add an additional qualification to their portfolio. They are also a great route into the employment market for those who have been out of work. Completing an advanced apprenticeship is equivalent to two A-level passes irrespective of your age and ‘higher apprentices’ can work towards qualifications such as a foundation degree or the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree – all without paying tuition fees!

You must have 5 GCSEs to apply for an apprenticeship – FALSE

Don’t be put off by what certificates you came out of school with. At Premier Partnership we will work with you in the induction phase of our programme to identify skills gaps and work out how we can support you to develop your skills within your current role and work towards your career goals.

You must have qualifications in English and Maths to complete an apprenticeship – FALSE

You can complete Functional Skills qualifications in English and Maths up to level 2 (equivalent to GCSE A – C) as part of your apprenticeship, with the specialist support of our Functional Skills team and appropriately qualified tutors.

You will only get low pay whilst you are doing an apprenticeship – FALSE.

Apprentices will receive at least the national minimum wage (currently £3.40 per hour for 16-18-year olds and those aged 19+ in the first year of their apprenticeship), although you will find that many employers choose to pay more and often end up offering you long term or permanent employment. Further down the line, individuals with an advanced apprenticeship earn between £77,000 and £117,000 more over their lifetime than similar individuals with Level 2 qualifications. While those completing a higher (degree level) apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime.

Find out more about our Apprenticeship Services