Truths and myths about apprenticeships

In honour of National Apprenticeship Week (6 – 10 March) we want to give you some truths and shatter some myths about apprenticeships, so you can work out whether they’re something for you.

We think it’s really important for young people to be clued up on all the options open to them after school, and we think it’s even more important to understand that everyone learns differently. So, Truth Number One is this: in the right setting, anyone can excel. But first you have to know all the possibilities … we think one of the most overlooked routes into a career is the apprenticeship!

Secondly, yes it’s true: an apprenticeship is a paid job, with training included. You’ll be earning a wage while learning professional skills. ‘Learn and earn’ is an approach that may work for you, if a more traditional education setting like college or university isn’t really your cup of tea…

‘I was so lost, Uni didn’t work for me, applying for an apprenticeship was the best decision I made’

Janet Nkaasah, Youth Work Apprentice, Young Hackney

So to Myth Number One: apprenticeships aren’t just for aspiring plumbers and engineers. Apprenticeships are credible and strongly-valued by employers because of the experience you gain; and there are a variety of levels and Advanced Apprenticeships on offer.

For example, over the next few months, the Council will be offering apprenticeships at Levels 2, 3 and 4, in areas including: Business and Administration, Youth Work, Customer Services, ICT, Housing and Environmental Services. These apprenticeships will be open to 16-24 year olds who live or have studied in the borough. All Council apprentices aged over 18 will be paid around £19,000 per year, which is above the London Living Wage.

‘When people hear what apprenticeship I do they are so shocked, no one expects me to say Digital Marketing’

La Braya Buffong, Digital Marketing Apprentice, Young Hackney

Myth Number Two: doing an apprenticeship doesn’t mean you aren’t smart enough or took an ‘easy route’. The work can be challenging, in fact, you’re often doing the same work as other, more experienced employees. The 100 Council apprentices will be given accredited training from a high-quality provider, a package of support including mentoring and social activities, and support to progress into a permanent job or a higher apprenticeship qualification.

During National Apprenticeship Week the Council is running a stall in the Reception area at Hackney Service Centre. 1 Hillman St E8 1DY on Friday 10 March, from 3-4pm. The Council’s Apprenticeship Team and some of the current crop of apprentices will be there to provide support and answers to any questions you may have. So if an apprenticeship is something you think sounds like you, pass by and find out for sure!

If you’re not able to drop by – you can register your interest in future apprenticeships at: or email: