Break down the myths of Apprentices. Uncover the real Apprenticeships

What are Apprenticeships?
Apprenticeships are training programmes which let you work whist getting a qualification at the same time: ‘Earn while you Learn’.

Apprenticeships give you hands-on experience at work and allocated time off for your training.

Are there Different Levels of Apprenticeships?
There are several levels of apprenticeships. Runshaw College offer three levels of apprenticeships:

Intermediate apprenticeships (Level 2)

Advanced apprenticeships (Level 3)

Higher apprenticeships (Level 4)

What does an Apprenticeship involve?
The majority of your time is spent in the workplace with most of your training being on the job. You will have ‘off-the-job training’ which is additional training taking place at Runshaw College or at your workplace (programme specific).
What is Off-the-Job Training?
Off-the-job training is learning that takes place outside of your everyday work duties. This takes place within your normal working hours and counts for 20% of them.

It can take be in the workplace, at college or from home via online learning. Your off-the-job training is an essential part of achieving your apprenticeship.

What is On-the-Job Training?
The length of the apprenticeships depends on the programme and the level of qualification you are working towards. They take a minimum of 12 months to complete.
How Much Will it Cost Me?
Nothing! Your training costs are covered when you are an apprentice, so unlike university, there are no costs for your study and no student debt!
Do I get Paid?
Yes, you are an employee of the company you work for. You can find information about apprentice wages here. You will be paid for your normal working hours, training that’s part of your apprenticeship (at least 20% of your normal working hours) and also study time if you are working towards English and maths qualifications, if they’re part of your apprenticeship.

It is important to note that some companies start their apprentices on their company pay scale.

How Many Hours will I Work in a Week?
There are rules about working hours for apprentices. You can find more information here.
Is there a Job at the end of My Apprenticeship?
Most apprentices stay with their employer, although there is not a guarantee that you will stay in your role.

Research by the National Apprenticeship Service states that 85% of apprentices will stay in employment and around 65% will continue working with the same employer.

What’s the Difference between an Apprenticeship and Attending College Full Time?
College students usually spend around three days a week at college. As an apprentice, you are employed, receive a wage and work each day, whilst completing your apprenticeship qualification.
Can Anyone Become an Apprentice?
To apply for an apprenticeship, you must:

– be 16 or over (there is no upper age limit)

-live in England

-not already be in full-time education

Can I be an Apprentice if I am already Working?
Yes. You can change your career or stay in your current position and upskill your job.
Why Should I Choose an Apprenticeship?
You’re employed and getting paid to train. An apprenticeship allows you to get transferable skills and knowledge and great work experience, all whilst you earn a wage and get a qualification at no cost to yourself.

An apprenticeship is ideally suited for those who enjoy hands-on experiences rather than continuing in full-time education.

How do I Find an Apprenticeship?
Please read all the information on our website and have a look at our vacancies here which we update regularly. You can apply online here If you are looking for a specific vacancy, that you can’t see, please get in touch as we are updating our vacancies all the time.

You can also speak with our team who will be happy to chat with you about an apprenticeship: 01772 643008

Click here for our vacancies

Click here for our programmes

Click here to apply for an apprenticeship

Common Myths about Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship isn’t a proper job
Yes, it is! You will have a contract of employment and be paid a salary. At least 20% of your apprenticeship will be spent ‘off the job ‘and used for training and working towards a qualification.
I don’t get holiday pay as an apprentice
Yes you do. You get a statutory amount of hours for holiday depending on the hours you work. You get a contract employment which means you’ll be entitled to holidays.
Apprentices pay for their training
Not at all. The employer and government pay for all of the training. This means that unlike university, you can achieve a qualification without having to take out a student loan.
I don’t know anyone who has done well as an apprentice
Here are just a few we know about! Jamie Oliver, Lord Bamford, head of JCB and John Cauldwell, who started Phones 4 U, both who were engineering apprentices. Ross Brawn famous for Formula One also started as an apprentice.

The average salary for apprenticeship jobs, on completion of your apprenticeship is £31,787, according to

An apprenticeship will limit my career opportunities
This is not true! There are apprenticeship opportunities in every sector and they come with the opportunity to take different qualifications, which can lead to promotion and salary increases.

Every apprenticeship works to a standard and some have mandatory embedded qualifications, for example AAT and some health care apprenticeships, which come with the opportunity for progression, for example to higher level or degree apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships are only for young people aged 16-18
Not at all. As long as you are over 16, there is no upper age limit. There are thousands of current apprentices over the age of 25.

30% of our current apprentices are over the age of 25.

There are no perks to being an apprentice
You can earn while you learn as an apprentice. Your company may have a benefits scheme, pension scheme as per government guidelines or bus passes and student discounts.
Apprenticeships are limited to certain Industries
People assume that apprenticeships are only available in certain industries. Not true! Almost all industries have an apprenticeship route, including IT, Accountancy, Human Resources (HR) Engineering, Customer Support, Digital Marketing, Hospitality and many more.
The wage is not good
There is a lot of bad press about apprentices being on the national minimum wage, but many employers pay more than this. Please remember too, that you are not paying for your qualification and definitely won’t have a student loan, like university students. You will even be paid for time to study!
Apprenticeships just lead to low level qualifications
Not true. Did you know that apprentices can achieve a degree through a degree apprenticeship?

Runshaw College offer three levels of apprenticeships:

Level 2 / Intermediate Apprenticeships (12 to 18 months)

Level 3 / Advanced Apprenticeships (about 2 years)

Level 4 / Higher Apprenticeships (about 2-5 years)

It’s difficult to find an Apprenticeship…
Sometimes, but like anything, the best things take time.

Runshaw College has a live database of vacancies, which is updated regularly.

You can also look at the government website: to find an apprenticeship. There are over 20,000 apprenticeships listed each month.

Many employers may advertise vacancies on their company website, so check there too if you know which direction you want to go in.

Do Apprenticeships have entry requirements?
Yes, each of our programmes has its own set of entry requirements, which can be found on our website. The course entry requirements are set by Runshaw College, however, employers can sometimes add additional requirements so please read the vacancies thoroughly.
What happens if you don’t meet the entry requirements?
Apprenticeships include maths and English, end point assessments and sometimes exams, so we need to ensure that the level of apprenticeship is right for you. If you don’t quite meet the entry requirements we can assess your current levels of maths, English and IT through a BKSB online assessment.

The results will be reviewed by our Functional Skills Tutor/Head of School & Studies and we will then discuss your next steps with you. Depending on the results of your BKSB assessment and review, you could still complete an apprenticeship whilst doing you maths, English and / or IT Functional Skills alongside.