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Pamela Welsh 14th June 2018

Do Apprenticeships Have a Perception Problem?

We’ve had huge success with our apprenticeship scheme over the past five years – but if you’d asked us six years ago our perceptions of apprenticeships might have been very different.

With statistics showing that firms have only used 10% of the levy funds available, we’re clearly not the only ones who have needed to make this journey!


Let’s not beat about the bush, apprenticeships do have a perception problem. We’ve helped several colleges promote their apprenticeship offerings and this is one of the biggest hurdles many of them face in promoting apprenticeships. We believe this view is largely down to wider perceptions of vocational educational in general and a misunderstanding of apprenticeships and how they work. Our attitude changed by setting aside our preconceptions and working with local providers to understand what was out there and then taking the plunge – and we’ve not looked back since! There is no doubt that apprenticeships are a brilliant way for individuals to get a foot in through the door of your industry – and it’s also a smart way to fill any skills gaps your organisation may be lacking by upskilling current employees too!


We know some employers are surprised at the variety of levels and sectors which vocational education covers, ranging from Level 2 right through to Levels 6 and 7 – the equivalent of a bachelors or masters degree! They cover a range of industries from accountancy to digital, as well as the traditional trades and have proven that they are moving with our diverse and everchanging workplace.


Everyone involved in an apprenticeship scheme can play a part in improving their reputation. Colleges, universities, local authorities and industry bodies are all playing an active part in promoting the benefits of apprenticeships for businesses, apprentices and the economy as a whole. And businesses like us who have benefited from apprenticeships can play a role by sharing their positive experiences of the scheme! Vocational education shouldn’t have the stigma attached to it – a whopping 97% of businesses that have taken on apprentices felt it was worth the investment and 90% found it boosted their business’ productivity.

So, let’s embrace apprenticeships for what they are – a high-quality training scheme which work across industries. Personally, we’ve had huge success by fully embracing vocational education and with 95% of apprentices saying it has set them up for a successful career it’s a win-win situation for everyone!

If, as a business you’re interested in beginning your apprenticeship journey then follow this link for more information and guidance.

Written By Pamela Welsh
After completing the Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma, Pamela was awarded the Top Student in Yorkshire for 2015 and was also amongst the few that were entered for the Northern top student of the year award. She works on a wide range of engagement campaigns for clients in the public and private sectors.

Also written by Pamela