#NAW2023: Top 10 Apprenticeship Misconceptions

#NAW2023: Top 10 Apprenticeship Misconceptions

Apprenticeships are for everyone

It’s #NAW2023 and at MDS, we are using the week to educate the nation that apprenticeships are for everyone.

An apprenticeship is an excellent way to learn new skills, change careers and gain experience in your field. They’re available across almost every industry and can be tailored to suit your skills and experience. The training can provide you with a competitive salary and the opportunity to network with established professionals.

There is no age limit on apprenticeships, and you don’t need previous experience. They allow you to get the experience and training you need to launch a successful career with a company that offers flexibility, benefits and growth opportunities.

Apprenticeship Mythbusters

Unfortunately, misconceptions surrounding apprenticeships often prevent people from considering them as a career option. We spoke to career-changer and MDS Trainee Mark Mckenna about the top 10 apprenticeship misconceptions and why they’re not true:

  1. Apprenticeships are only for young people: Not true! Apprenticeships are available to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. After twelve years of building my reputation and knowledge in another industry, I was a little nervous about changing careers. However, none of that work has been lost, and my apprenticeship course is building on and linking together much of the knowledge I had previously gained. Our group attends training workshops together, and it is full of people of different ages, backgrounds and experiences, each adding an extra dimension to the material. This diversity enhances everyone’s learning.

  2. Apprenticeships are only available in manual trades: Apprenticeships are now available in a wide range of industries, including creative, financial, digital and IT sectors. The MDS training programmes are based within the agri-food supply chain, which has touch points with all of these sectors – so even if you don’t know where you would like to take your career, you can try out a range of different roles to figure out where you best fit.

  3. Apprenticeships are only for people who have left school: Many apprenticeships are available to those who have left school, but there are also lots of apprenticeships available to those who are still in school. MDS employs Trainees who have decided to leave school and get work experience, those who have graduated from university, those who have decided university isn’t for them, graduates who have completed their degree and gained a few years of experience in another sector – there is a place for everyone.

  4. Apprenticeships are only available at lower levels: While there are entry-level apprenticeships available, there are also opportunities at higher levels. MDS offers apprenticeships at different levels depending on experience and potential.

  5. Apprenticeships are only for people who lack qualifications: Apprenticeships are a great way to gain qualifications, but some apprenticeships may require a minimum level of pre-existing qualifications.

  6. Apprenticeships are only for people who can’t go to university: This isn’t true. Apprenticeships are a great alternative to university, but this type of route isn’t your only option. There are also plenty of degree apprenticeships out there for people who would like to gain their degree part-time alongside on-the-job training.

  7. Apprenticeships are only a short-term solution: Apprenticeships can provide long-term career opportunities and can lead to senior roles or management positions. On the MDS programme, there is even an opportunity to progress your training; for example, Trainees who complete the level 3 Operations & Development programme have the opportunity to stay on and complete the level 5 Leadership and Management programme.

  8. Apprentices won’t be paid very much: While some apprenticeships may pay less than other jobs, many apprenticeships pay very competitively. On MDS, all Trainees receive £24,000 in year one and £25,000 in year two, as well as a relocation allowance.

  9. Apprenticeships are only available in the UK: Apprenticeships are available in many countries worldwide, so you can find apprenticeships in other countries too. On MDS, Trainees can also have the opportunity to complete some of their secondments abroad in places like Switzerland and Peru.

  10. Apprenticeships are only for people with low skills: Absolutely not true! There are all types of apprenticeship programmes out there; whether you are more of a hands-on learner or have a preference for academic learning, apprenticeships can be a great way to gain higher-level skills and qualifications while you work.

It’s #NAW2023 National Apprenticeship Week but I’ll be taking over the MDS Instagram page for the whole month to highlight my experience on the MDS Flexi-apprenticeship training programme, so make sure to take a look.