So it seems like everyone and their mums are talking about uni, but what if that’s not for you?
Apprenticeships are a great route for those who prefer a little more flexibility and practical learning, but there are some common myths around them that might be putting people off.
Apprentices don’t get qualifications:
Wrong. The qualifications you get from apprenticeships go from Level 2-Level 7, and each level is split into Intermediate, Advanced, Higher and Degree-level. That means that at the highest level, you could be earning a university degree through your apprenticeship. Which, don’t forget, you’re getting paid for. Win-win.
Alright fine, but they’re not as good as going to uni:
Wrong again. Actually, you can even do both — look into ‘degree apprenticeships’, a new type of apprenticeship that combine traditional university study with on the job apprentice-style training, resulting in a bachelors or master’s degree equivalent at the end. They’re like traditional apprenticeships, but the time you spend studying will be at a college or university.
Apprenticeships are just taking the easy route:
Definitely not. Because of limited spaces, the competition for apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships can be fierce. You have to stand out from the crowd to be chosen, and working alongside your studies might mean you have less free time than friends who choose to study alone.
For a bit of perspective - unis in the UK have on average 24 weeks of teaching a year. The average job in the UK gives 24 days paid holiday a year. You’ll never be getting as much holiday from an apprenticeship as you would from uni, but it’s a taste of what the working world is like.
So it’s not easy, and the pay is rubbish:
Not entirely true. Yes, the pay will likely be minimum apprenticeship wage if you’re working for a local mechanic or hairdressers, and that’s currently £3.90 an hour. But this is money that your traditional student friends won’t be earning. And that’s just the minimum — working for a global corporation could earn you far closer to a full salary.
Consider the fact that your employer will also be paying for your qualifications, so you’re getting those for free, too. No student debt! It all adds up.
Only certain people can apply:
Nope. Nearly anyone can apply for apprenticeships, as long as they’re 16 or over by the end of summer, living in England and not in full time education. Meet those criteria? Perfect, all you need to do next is head to the gov.uk website for all the info on schemes available and how to apply.
LUCY HARDING is the Editorial manager for Push. She is an English Literature grad and an MA Publishing student at UCL. She is passionate about international relations and cultural diversity, having worked closely with her university’s Erasmus society to support European students. She also spent a year abroad studying at California State University: Long Beach
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