Andy Gilbert-Dunnings

Busting apprenticeship myths

Apprenticeships can provide a fantastic pathway for people looking to forge a career in the leisure industry. But don’t be fooled into thinking they’re just for young learners and career-starters: apprenticeships are growing in stature and number.  While apprenticeships remain a great option for school leavers, the recent reforms have enabled training to be funded for post-graduate, junior and middle-management levels. The smart money is on making the most of apprenticeships right across the board and not be limited to the more familiar school-leaver entry-level concept.

It’s National Apprenticeship Week from February 3rd-9th making it the perfect time to bust some myths surrounding apprenticeships.  We spoke to Andy Gilbert-Dunnings, Active IQ’s Qualification Development Manager, to dispel some common misconceptions around apprenticeships to understand:

  • Most growth in apprenticeships are at Advanced and Higher Level
  • Apprenticeships are growing in popularity and apprentices land well-paid jobs
  • Leisure industry apprenticeships aren’t just for personal trainers – supervisor level training can help employers retain their very best talent
  • And, er, the ‘average’ apprentice is NOT a 16-18 year old male learning a trade

Myth 1 – Apprenticeships are for people who do badly at school

It’s simply not true: research shows that 44% of apprentices who started on a programme in 2018/19 were at Advanced Level (Level 3 – equivalent to A Levels) and 19% were at Higher Level (Level 4 and above).  These are increasing in popularity too: the number of Advanced Level apprenticeships being studied rose to 174,700 in 2018/19 from 166,200 in 2017/2018 while Higher Level apprenticeships rose to 75,100 from 48,200 year-on-year.  On top of this, 22,500 apprentices were studying at Level 6 or Level 7 (Degree and Masters Level) and there’s even Level 8 (PHD level) apprenticeship standards available!

Myth 2 – Apprenticeships aren’t popular because apprentices are poorly paid

The tide is turning on popularity and income expectations.

  • Apprenticeships are gaining in popularity and the number of people who started an apprenticeship in 2018/19 showed a year-on-year increase. Figures shows that 742,400 people were taking part in an apprenticeship in England, with 393,400 new apprenticeship starts and 185,100 apprenticeship achievements last year.
  • According to the National Apprenticeship Service, individuals with an Advanced Level apprenticeship will earn between £77,000 and £117,000 more in their lives compared to those with just Level 2 qualifications. Meanwhile, individuals who achieve a Higher Level apprenticeship could boost their income by approximately £150,000 over their lifetime.

Myth 3 – Leisure industry apprenticeships are aimed at trainee personal trainers

While gaining your Level 3 Personal Training apprenticeship is an excellent way to learn on the job and enter the industry, leisure industry apprenticeships go far wider.  The Community Activator Coach apprenticeship can lead to a job working for a sport for social change charity, while Leisure Duty Managers manage the front line operation of a leisure facility, and the Leisure Team Member standard enables apprentices to work as a lifeguard, swimming teacher, gym instructor and a group activity leader.  Importantly, forward -thinking employers have a great opportunity to train and retain their top talent by funding a Team Leader Supervisor apprenticeship to take bright junior and middle managers further up the career ladder within their business.

Myth 4 – The typical apprentice is a 16-18-year-old male school leaver learning a trade

This is an outdated view and things have moved on massively! Apprenticeships are still great options for those learning a trade, but the plentiful new programmes and standards have broadened opportunities greatly. There are currently 517 apprenticeship standards approved for delivery by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFaTE) across 15 occupation routes from Agriculture to Construction and Education & Childcare to Health & Science. Government figures show that in 2018/19, 46% of apprenticeships starters were aged 25 or over. There was a significant rise in those aged between 35 and 44 starting their apprenticeship journey, with 21% more starts among this age group than in the previous year. And there is little gender difference on apprenticeship programme starters in 2018/2019 with 50.1% female and 49.9% male.

Apprenticeships play a vital role in the health and fitness sector, and when implemented correctly can help people on a fantastic journey within their career. On Wednesday 5th February at 2pm, Andy Gilbert-Dunnings will be hosting a special webinar in celebration of National Apprenticeship Week and will be exploring this topic further. To tune in follow this link.

For more information, go to www.activeiq.co.uk

Posted in Interviews, The Fitness Network.