Myths About Apprenticeships!


There have been a few rumours circulating about being an apprentice recently, some of these have been around for years! Speaking from an apprentices view point I'm here to set the facts straight! 

1. Apprentices are only for practical/industrial industries

WRONG! Over the past few years apprenticeships have become far more diverse and now cover a wide variety of career choices. Some of the options available at the University of Oxford include:

- Business Administration working in events and conferencing 
- Social Media working in Marketing and Communications
- Laboratory Technicians working in The Nuffield Department of Medicine
- HR Assistants 
- Maintenance/Portering 
- IT Services and Audio Visual Technicians

Most of these are not what you would traditionally think of when you think 'Apprentice'
Its fantastic to know that there are now far more opportunities opening up for so many different career paths!

2. Apprentices are poorly paid

This is definitely not always the case. The national minimum wage for an apprentice is £2.75, HOWEVER, many apprentices are paid well above this!  It is also expected that an apprentice's pay will increase in line with their productivity, qualification passes and work experience.

3. They only offer low level qualifications

Wrong again! There are three levels to apprenticeships, each of which lead to different level qualifications:

- Intermediate: Equivalent to 5 GCSE passes 
- Advanced: Equivalent to 2 A-Level passes
- Higher: Can lead to an NVQ Level 4 or a foundation degree

Depending on your scheme you could gain a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ); a Functional Skills qualification; a technical certificate (such as a BTEC Higher National Certificate) A Higher National Diploma (HND) or a foundation degree!

4. An apprenticeship isn't a 'real job' 

Most apprenticeships are full time, just like any other 'normal' job. According to the Skills Funding Agency the minimum working hours for an apprentice is 30hrs a week, this is only 7.5hrs less than the standard. 

Apprenticeships can also last from 1-4 years and can offer the same opportunities that any other employee would have, including pensions, pay rises and room for career growth and development.

Hopefully these have busted some of those common misconceptions about apprentices.
If you have any questions regarding apprentices in Oxford University please contact 
Clive Shepherd, Apprenticeships Manager - 

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Created by Sophie Bebb, University of Oxford Apprentice at the Said Business School.

Managed by Frances Murray, Apprentice Librarian Assistant at the Bodleian Libraries, and Megan Janes, Apprenticeship Administration and Communications Apprentice.