Apprenticeships: the misunderstandings, future and personal development

Posted on: 6th Jun 2024

Apprenticeships have undergone significant change since the turn of the millennium and provide genuine career and development pathways for people of all ages across all sectors.

Despite this, there are still a number of common misunderstandings concerning vocational qualifications in the present day and how they support organisations to develop a fit and competent workforce for the future.

From education to councils, charities and sports clubs, there really is an apprenticeship out there for everyone.

Not only do apprenticeships provide a fantastic steppingstone for individuals to establish essential knowledge, skills and behaviours attached to their role, but also to climb the career ladder in a way other education routes can’t guarantee.

Debt-free earn as you learn education

According to the latest government data, the average degree-holder earns £28,800 per year five years after graduating from university. By contrast, the average salary of a degree apprentice on completion is £32,502 per year.

Of course, it’s worth remembering the above statistics only paints one part of the picture. While most students leave university with a great deal of debt in tow, apprentices operate on an ‘earn-as-you-learn’ model. This ensures the learner has the capacity to work a full-time job at the same time as completing their studies.

General election

Since Rishi Sunak confirmed a general election will be held on Thursday, July 4, there has been extensive noise made in the media concerning apprenticeships and their delivery.

The Conservatives – if re-elected – plan to remove the worst performing university courses to help fund 100,000 apprenticeships each year. Labour on the other hand propose replacing the apprenticeship levy with a skills and growth levy, which would allow employers to spend up to half their funds on training outside apprenticeships.

It goes without saying some degrees are enormously valuable, and can lead to fantastic careers. But there are others which register poorly across the board, from dropout rates to happiness, future job prospects and earning potential.

These are the types of degrees which the Conservatives are proposing to get rid of, in favour of funding a greater number of apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships vs university

University might be the right path for many.

But it’s cheering to see apprenticeships now viewed not as ‘second best’ but instead an educational route which supports degree-based qualifications.

Apprenticeship qualifications come in many levels, with the highest considered equivalent to a Master’s degree. Apprenticeships are by no means an ‘easy option’ for those not suited to university life, they are an alternative path for people who opt to learn in a different way.

All ages

It’s important to remember apprenticeships are not and never will be appropriate for young people only.

Although this misconception is widespread, people of any age and at any stage in their career can benefit from spending time as an apprentice. An apprenticeship training provider such as Ignite Training works with the skills a person already has, growing and nurturing their ability in areas in which they already shine while helping to increase skills in new areas.

Some people opt for apprenticeships because they would like to learn to work in a new sector, while others are happy in their industry but would like to develop the skills to take their career to the next level.

This is what makes apprenticeships so useful, they have the potential to benefit people in a broad range of situations rather than being narrowly focused on a small group.

Contact Ignite Training today!

Apprenticeships have come into their own in recent years, with a huge amount of government investment coming their way.

This has led to increased awareness of their value both as an alternative to university for young people and as a means of continued career development for people already working.

If your organisation would like to learn more about investing in the power of apprenticeships, drop our friendly team a message today via or call 0300 303 0890.

About Ignite Training

Established in 1999, Ignite’s primary aim is to actively inspire people, and to help create a sense of achievement for everyone. Based in Oxford and operating nationally, we provide a portfolio of training and services to individuals, schools and the sports industry, ranging from weekly clubs for tots to adult courses and apprenticeships.

About Ignite Training