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My story

I’m at university studying Sports Management as an undergraduate degree: 3 years in education with a sandwich year (working in industry which you do after second year). In September (2019), I began my sandwich year with SCCU. SCCU is an apprenticeship training provider, and my role involves helping with marketing and the general operations of the business. Whilst at SCCU, I’ve learnt a lot about apprenticeships that I was never taught.

I’ve put together some myth busters about apprenticeships, so you know what I didn’t, before you make your career defining decision.

The myths 

You must go to university if you want a good education and career prospects:

This is one I strongly believed when I started my undergraduate degree 2 years ago. I was told by educators, family and friends that if I wanted a good education and a well-paid job I’d need to go to university, so I did. But university isn’t the only option, you can do a degree level apprenticeship, (as well as A-level and GCSE level.) There are currently 100 higher and degree apprenticeships available that will set you on the same path as a university degree, with the added advantage of work-place experience. Unlike university, you’d be leaving with wages, as opposed to debt!

You can’t get an apprenticeship if you are over the age of 18:

When I had finished my GCSEs, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I did A-levels. By the time I finished my A-levels I had just turned 19 (I did 3 years of A-levels) so I thought I was too old to get an apprenticeship. I thought that unless I wanted to go straight into employment, I would HAVE to go to university to continue studying. This isn’t true; training providers get an adult education budget that allows adults over 18 to continue learning whilst earning. This means that apprenticeships are a great way for adults to upskill or have a change in career.

You must go to college whilst doing an apprenticeship for the learning aspect:

This is something I heard a lot from friends who didn’t want to take the college or university route because they’re hands on learners and would benefit more from getting stuck into a job rather than being stuck in a classroom. The thing that put them off with apprenticeships as opposed to employment was that they’d still have to attend college (which is what they were trying to avoid.) Whilst this may be true for some training providers, I’ve learnt that SCCU likes to help every learner and their tutors come to you at your workplace, so that there is no need to go to college. They also give you 20% off the job time for personal development.

To conclude…

I hope the myth busters help you out when deciding what you want to do next. Although university has been great so far, I wish I had known some of these things before I had to make my decision. Apprenticeships give you the ability to earn AND learn, giving you hands on experience as well as an education. No matter your educational level, workplace experience or age you could be an apprentice.

If you would like to know more about apprenticeships visit our website and get your learner guide