Apprenticeship Myths


Apprenticeship Myths

I am extremely thankful to Aron Myerthall of the British Institute of Recruiters for constructing the following article that I have edited slightly to form an emphasis on Apprenticeships in a wider context than for the recruitment sector that Aron represents. For those reading this article and who have direct interest in the recruitment sector regarding apprenticeships, I would strongly urge you to contact Aron for further information.

For others that may be interested in a wider context  I would be delighted to talk with you further.

Below we assess the myths you might be faced with and debunk them once and for all!

Myth: Apprenticeships are expensive.

Reality: This year the Government has introduced the Apprenticeship Levy (TAX) in a bid to bridge the skills gap by raising the number and quality of apprentices in the UK.

The Levy is designed as a “use it or lose it” tax of ½% of a company wage bill. Therefore, there are lots of funds set aside to be used on new apprenticeships and up-skill training. If you have a wage bill of £3 million plus per annum then you already have paid funds into the Levy. These funds can only be claimed back on Apprenticeship Schemes.

If you are not a levy payer then the government will fund 90% of any apprenticeship and you will just need to fund 10%. This is outstanding value which will enable you to bring new Apprentices into your company or you could use it to upskill your existing workforce.

Ultimately you get training for virtually free or pre-paid.


Myth: In-house trainers/L&D personnel will be made obsolete

Reality: One of the biggest worries that In-house trainers/L&D personnel have is that their job would become obsolete once they appoint an apprenticeship/training provider. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Apprenticeship/training programs can deliver the company’s own content. The training programs can be delivered in conjunction with their own induction. So simply put the employer is part of the delivery of an apprenticeship and the training provider awards the qualification upon completion of the course.

For support on how to realign current training to take advantage of the new apprenticeship training please feel free to contact us at the address given at the end of this article.


Myth: Apprenticeships are only for young people

Reality: You are never too old for an apprenticeship. There’s no upper age limit for becoming an apprentice.

One of the most common misconceptions is that the levy or government incentives can only be used on new employees. Existing employees can be up-skilled and you claim the price of their training in the same way as the apprenticeship schemes.

Myth: It’s not as good as a college or university course

Reality: All industries have lots of great opportunities for development and can offer a range of qualifications such as Sales, Management, Finance, HR, Project Management to name a few. Many of the higher qualifications can go on to be equivalent to a university degree, so don’t feel like you’re missing out!

Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels to the below.


Level Equivalent Educational Level
Intermediate 2 5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C
Advanced 3 2 A Level passes
Higher 4,5,6 and 7 Foundation Degree and above
Degree  6 and 7 Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree


Myth: Your Apprentice will be out of the office once a week.

Reality: The apprentice is required to spend 20% of the duration of the course doing what the government call “off job training”. This could be loaded front end or back end or spilt throughout the programme.

“Off the job training” can be delivered in the work place so they are at hand for urgent issues, trainers just ensure this training doesn’t involve their normal duties (basically up-training).

“Off the job training” can take the guise off:

The teaching of theory for example:

  • Lectures,
  • Role-playing,
  • Simulation exercises,
  • Online learning.
  • Books
  • Work based assignments

But here is where it can become interesting, some of the on the job training may include practical training such as:

  • Shadowing,
  • Mentoring,
  • Industry visits,
  • Attendance of events
  • Work related projects

Learning support and time spent writing assessments/assignments goes toward the 20% “off the job training.


About Sales Improvement Services.

Led by Tim Anderson, a specialist coach with more than 30 years’ experience, Sales Improvement Services is a consultancy practice supporting professional organisations, and those working within them, to meet their respective goals.

We provide these services through a range of professional support methods including coaching, consultancy and action based learning, all measured against pre-determined business objectives. Our clients range from start-ups, SME’s, education providers, charities, and medium-sized professional organisations.

How we can help.

Take a look at our web site to discover the programmes and support that can be offered.

Please get in touch with us if you are interested to learn more about apprenticeships for your organisation:



Personal Development, Sales Consultancy, SMEs, Training
About Tim Anderson
Tim has over thirty years’ experience within the sales environment as a sales person, a sales manager, a sales director and as a mentor and coach. He has run sales teams as a sales director within the IT sector as a direct re seller, a VAR and as an MSP. He has developed and exited from two IT businesses and supported three training and development organisations to grow their businesses by supporting their commercial offering. He has taken these teams through change initiatives . Tim continues to develop himself as a coach and has successfully taken his coaching into executive and leadership coaching. He has combined coaching with management and leadership development and regularly supports senior managers to take their next step upward in their careers. He is a qualified coach and a Chartered Manager and also holds a degree in professional consulting.

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