It’s National Apprenticeship Week 2024 and we’re looking at some of the most common myths and misconceptions surrounding apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships are an alternative route to a successful and fulfilling career. With a whole host of training programs available for our current staff, there’s a vast range of routes to take to elevate your career with City & County.

Let’s jump straight into it.

Myth: Apprentices leave after completing their apprenticeship

Myth Buster: Ninety percent of apprentices remain with the employer after the completion of their mandated coursework. Employers are not obligated to offer permanent employment afterward; they have the discretion to make an employment decision that is best for the business. At City & County Healthcare Group our apprentices are already colleagues and therefore stay with us after.

Myth: It involves extensive paperwork

Myth Buster: The paperwork for registering for an apprenticeship program is simple. Under normal circumstances, the interested candidate has to complete a digital form and submit it electronically. All the data is organised in one place and your apprenticeship is mainly completed online utilising the providers e-Learning system.

Myth: The Apprentice has no control over the programme

Myth Buster: An apprenticeship programme is never set in stone. Workplace needs are ever-changing. However, it is likely that opportunities will arise during, and at the conclusion of, the apprenticeship. The apprentice will have a say in how their apprenticeship is formed and the learning styles that fit each individual.

Myth:  I will just be making tea

Myth Buster: An apprenticeship is a valuable opportunity to receive practical training and learn skills in a formal business environment. Companies offering apprenticeships adhere to strict guidelines. They keep the apprentice busy with work you would be employed in the position you are training towards, and you would be doing the actual job alongside studying.

Myth: Apprenticeships are only for young people

Myth Buster: There is no upper age limit for apprenticeship training. We have apprentices ranging from age 17 to 76 currently completing apprenticeship programmes within the City & County Healthcare Group. Anyone aged 16 and over can enrol onto an apprenticeship.

Myth: Apprentices are poorly paid

Myth Buster: The National Apprenticeship Salary is currently 5.28 per hour; however, City & County Group pay our apprentices as if they were a normal colleague and then National Minimum Wage for their age category.

If you are already employed by City & County Group and start an apprenticeship programme, there will be no changes to your contract or salary.

You will be earning a wage and receive your training at no cost to yourself.

Myth: I can’t do an apprenticeship and work full -time

Myth Buster: Apprenticeship are a vocational way to train and are completed alongside your current job role. No need to take career breaks or leave employment to train. Apprenticeships are also fully funded so won’t cost you a penny! You will need to complete some of the academic work in your own time.

Myth: Apprenticeships are only for the construction or trade industry

Myth Buster: This is no longer the case and hasn’t been for a while. There is a wide breadth of apprenticeship training available across all sectors of our workforce e.g. Finance, I.T, Business Administration, Customer Service, Management, Dental, HCA’s, Nursing Associates, Occupational Therapists and Physios to name a few! New apprenticeship standards are in development all the time.

Myth: Apprenticeships don’t offer the same job opportunities as degrees

Myth Buster: There are numerous apprenticeship pathways available which lead to degree level roles. Apprenticeships can be just as valuable and open up as many opportunities as a degree. Apprenticeships are available from Level 2 (GCSE) up to Level 7 (Master’s Degree). City & County Healthcare Group currently support 17 different types of apprenticeships.

Myth: Apprenticeships are for the less academic and people who don’t do well at school

Myth Buster: Absolutely not! Apprenticeships can be just as challenging and rewarding as traditional GCSE, A-Level and Degree study programmes. We currently have over 370 apprentices undertaking apprenticeship training from Level 2 (GCSE) right up to Level 7 (Master Degree) level

Myth: Apprenticeships don’t lead to good qualifications

Myth Buster: There are clear progression routes for apprentices to enable you to attain degrees through the apprenticeship programme.

Myth: Apprenticeships are only for new staff to the business – existing staff don’t qualify

Myth Buster: A majority of our apprentices are staff who are already employed by City & County Healthcare Group. They are making the most of funded apprenticeship training to upskill, pursue promotion or a change of career within the group.

Myth: Apprentices only do menial or low skilled work – apprenticeships are not proper jobs

Myth Buster: Apprentices follow clear training criteria and competencies which involves key tasks and play an important role within their teams. Apprentices start effectively contributing to their job role from day one.

Myth: Apprenticeships are low-quality training options

Myth Buster: The new Apprenticeship Standards launched in 2017 have been designed to improve the quality of apprenticeships and many include professional qualifications e.g. We have 4 staff who are undertaking CIPD apprenticeships.

We hope these myth busters put some of those daunting thoughts to bed.

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