We’ve all heard of apprenticeships, but do you actually know what they are? There are many misconceptions, so Sarah Johnson of Forces Families Jobs is here to dispel a few myths…

Myth 1: Apprenticeships are just for school leavers. 

Wrong – as long as you’re over 16, age is no barrier to becoming an apprentice. So if you are considering a new career but aren’t able to take time out of work to become a full-time student, an apprenticeship could be exactly what you’re looking for. This route offers you the chance to ‘learn while you earn’.

Myth 2: Apprenticeships only offer a basic level of training.

Incorrect – apprenticeships offer various levels of study up to master’s degrees. This means that you work as a paid employee, whilst studying for a qualification which your employer is paying for. Ultimately, with an apprenticeship you can get a degree whilst continuing to earn and build up vital on-the-job experience.

Myth 3: Apprentices attract low rates of pay.

Whilst this can be true, it’s not always. We have employers registered with Forces Families Jobs who offer up to almost £15 per hour, which is more than the minimum wage. Also, once qualified, you’ll see your pay increase and, as an extra bonus, you won’t build up any student debt – amazing!

FFJ’s apprenticeships page has a selection of employers who are keen to offer roles, and the list is growing. Helen Hobson is the Apprenticeship Manager for Amazon, and she’s also a military spouse. We asked her about the company’s programme…

What levels of study does Amazon offer?
We offer more than 40 different schemes such as engineering, broadcast production, warehouse team leaders and much more.

What kind of salary could I receive?
The roles pay a minimum of £10 or £11.10 per hour depending on location, and up to £32,000 a year for degree-level apprenticeships.

What is it about recruiting apprentices that appeals to a business like Amazon?
Apprenticeships allow us to grow and develop skills required for the growth of our business, and hire a diverse workforce with a passion for learning and development who will grow into our future leaders.

How would Amazon be able to support me as a military spouse?
You would be enrolled into the Military Spouse Affinity Group which is a network of military spouses working across Amazon in the EU. This group is there for networking and support but also represents military spouses. You would be invited to regular networking events, both in person and virtual.

Anna Dunkley is Talent Programme Manager at Hilton, which offers levels 2–5 apprenticeships in all areas of hospitality, including a management programme. Anna says: “Apprenticeships allow us to give current team members a better understanding of the hospitality industry, they gain confidence and it strengthens their skills whilst supporting individual career goals.”

Across the UK, Hilton works with one of the leading hospitality training providers in the UK, so wherever you’re posted to, you can take advantage of mentoring support from peers and line managers.

York St John University offers level 6 apprenticeships in management, project management, data science and bioscience, and a level 7 apprenticeship for senior leaders with the opportunity to top this up with a Master’s in Business Administration.

“Starting salaries will vary from programme to programme and employer to employer,” says Business Development Manager Zoe Wilde. “You are guaranteed a job for at least the duration of the course but often this is just the start of a career progression route.”

YSJ offers apprenticeships as a blend of online and face-to-face workshops (available from its York and London campuses). You are supported by academic and module tutors throughout the programme, in addition to a dedicated Work-based Learning Tutor, who will monitor your progress and provide tailored support.

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