Insights Apprenticeships in Northern Ireland - Top 10 myths busted
17 July 2018

Apprenticeships in Northern Ireland - Top 10 myths busted

Apprentice working in a warehouse

The number of employers offering apprenticeships to young people in Northern Ireland has steadily been rising.  In 2016/17, over 6,500 individuals took up apprenticeships as part of the ApprenticeshipNI scheme.

But despite their popularity, many employers have been slow to take advantage of the benefits apprenticeship training offers.  With misconceptions surrounding apprenticeships, we set the record straight and take you through some of the most common myths.

  1. Apprenticeships are too expensive
    False:   An apprenticeship is a job of at least 21 hours per week that includes both on-the-job and off-the-job training. Like with any new employee, you will have to pay them a wage; the national apprenticeship wage or above.  If your apprentice is aged 16-24 the Department for the Economy pays all the off-the-job training costs.
  2. There’s no incentive to provide apprenticeship training
    False: By employing an apprentice, many employers have realised a growth and improvement in productivity in their business. Employers also receive a financial reward at the end of their apprentices training (an apprentice must achieve all elements of the framework including Essential skills if appropriate).  Plus, you’ll enjoy the benefits of having a loyal and motivated workforce that has been trained to meet your own specific business requirements.
  3. Apprenticeships are only for new staff
    False: Apprenticeships are available for new recruits to a job or to existing employees taking on new roles that require lots of training and development.
  4. Apprentices will spend too much time away from the workplace
    False: Off-the-job training can consist of training at your premises or online in single sessions or block sessions, minimising the time away from the workplace.
  5. Apprenticeships are only for young people under 19
    False:  Apprenticeships are available for individuals aged 16-24 years. There are some apprenticeships for individuals over 25, although some restrictions apply.
  6. Apprenticeships are for the less academic
    False: University or college isn’t for everyone and an apprenticeship offers a viable alternative route into employment. Those who apply for an apprenticeship don't necessarily achieve lower grades at school. Some apprentices simply feel ready to enter the world of work but see the value in working towards a recognised qualification at the same time.
  7. They are only for traditional industries and not relevant to my sector
    False:  The ApprenticeshipsNI programme offers approximately 170 apprenticeship frameworks across a wide range of industries.  Seetec specialises in delivering apprenticeship in logistics, aviation and digital marketing at Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) and more advanced Level 3 (A Level equivalent).
  8. Young people are unmotivated and not interested in an apprenticeship
    False: To the contrary, Seetec has a large bank of young people who are motivated and interested in developing a career within a chosen industry.  They are positive about the challenge of working and learning new skills and know an apprenticeship with the right employer will provide them with a good job and career prospects for the future.
  9. Apprentices never finish their training and leave
    False:  We ensure that apprentices are placed into a career that is right for their career prospects and will benefit you. Most individuals finish their apprenticeship framework, but like any employee, if you pay your apprentice the National Apprenticeship wage or above, offer incentives, provide the mentoring and support they need to progress, they won’t be looking to leave.
  10. Recruitment of an apprentice takes up too much time
    False.  Some training providers such as Seetec will organise all the recruitment process including advertising your vacancy, reviewing suitable applicants, arranging and preparing interviews, managing feedback and the sign-up process. 

Interested in offering an apprenticeship opportunity?  Speak to your local Belfast consultant today on 028 9030 3998 or email for more information.