Apprenticeships - Then & Now


Apprenticeships boast a long-standing tradition, spanning centuries as a proven and effective approach to mastering a craft while acquiring hands-on expertise. Nevertheless, in modern times, apprenticeships have gone through notable changes, shattering obsolete preconceptions and dispelling common misconceptions.

In this blog post, we will explore the evolution of apprenticeships, examine the myths surrounding them, and shed light on the changing paradigms in the world of apprenticeship programmes.

The Shifting Landscape of Apprenticeships

Traditionally, apprenticeships were seen as a hands-on training alternative to pursuing a university degree. While this notion still holds true, the landscape of apprenticeships has expanded to encompass a wider range of industries, including Sport and Active Leisure, and viable pathways to acquire valuable skills and launch a rewarding career, regardless of academic background.

Myth #1: Apprenticeships are only for manual labour or traditional trades

In the past, apprenticeships were predominantly associated with industries such as carpentry, plumbing, and construction. However, the reality today is far more diverse. Apprenticeships have evolved to accommodate a multitude of sectors, incorporating digital skills, cybersecurity, data analysis, marketing, and many other cutting-edge fields. offers a comprehensive overview of apprenticeship programmes spanning various industries, discrediting the notion that apprenticeships are limited to traditional trades.

Myth #2: Apprenticeships offer limited career prospects

Another common misconception is that apprenticeships can limit one's career progression. In reality, modern apprenticeships are designed to provide a structured learning experience, combining tutor-led instruction with practical, on-the-job training. 

Many apprenticeship programmes now offer clear progression pathways, allowing individuals to advance within their chosen field and even obtain higher-level qualifications. These pathways open doors to leadership positions, entrepreneurship, and lifelong learning.

Myth #3: Apprenticeships are only for school leavers or young individuals

A prevalent myth surrounding apprenticeships is the notion that they are exclusively meant for school leavers or young individuals who are just starting their careers. However, this myth fails to recognise the inclusive nature of modern apprenticeship programmes. 

Today, apprenticeships cater to individuals of all ages, including those seeking to upskill or reskill, also helping employers to retain their best staff. Adult apprenticeships have gained significant momentum, providing an avenue for professionals who wish to transition into a new industry or acquire specialised skills. 

By embracing apprenticeships at any stage of their professional journey, adults can enhance their employability, broaden their horizons, and embark on a new and fulfilling career path. The Competence app showcases the availability of apprenticeship programmes for individuals of all ages and markets including schools, Independent Training Providers, students and employers dispelling the myth that apprenticeships are exclusively for the young.

In the past, apprenticeships were predominantly associated with industries such as carpentry, plumbing, and construction.

Myth #4: Off-the-job-training has to be delivered externally

A prevailing misconception regarding apprenticeships is that off-the-job training must always be conducted by external providers. This myth implies that apprentices need to attend separate institutions or training centres to acquire the theoretical knowledge necessary for their chosen profession. 

However, the reality is that off-the-job training can be delivered in various ways, including through in-house training programmes or a combination of external and internal training resources and SaaS (Software as a Service) technology such as the Competence learning platform.

Apprenticeship programmes have seen a shift towards a more flexible approach to off-the-job training. Employers have recognised the benefits of integrating technological approaches within the workplace itself. 

By delivering off-the-job training internally, businesses can align the curriculum with their specific industry requirements, foster a stronger connection between theory and practice, and provide a more seamless learning experience for apprentices. With advancements in technology and the rise of innovative learning platforms, employers now have the option to provide a significant proportion of off-the-job training internally. 

This enables organisations to tailor the training content to their specific industry, incorporate company-specific processes and practices, and ensure an effortless integration between on-the-job and off-the-job learning experiences.

Competence exemplifies how employers can leverage technology to deliver high-quality off-the-job training directly within their organisation. This not only offers convenience and cost-effectiveness but also facilitates a more cohesive learning environment where apprentices can apply their newfound knowledge and skills in real-world scenarios.

By recognising the potential to provide off-the-job training internally, organisations can enhance the conciseness of their apprenticeship programmes by tailoring the training content to their specific industry, and foster a seamless integration between tutor-led and practical experience. This empowers employers to take full control of their apprenticeship journey, maximising the benefits for both the apprentices and the organisation itself.

Changing Paradigms: Employers and Apprenticeships:

Apprenticeships have proven to be a powerful tool for skill development and career advancement in the present-day landscape. As the perception of apprenticeships has evolved, so too has the mindset of employers. Businesses are increasingly recognising the value of apprenticeships, viewing them as a strategic investment in talent development. 

Furthermore, employers benefit from the fresh perspectives and innovative ideas brought by apprentices. As an illustration, the website showcases testimonials and success stories from both employers, training providers, students and apprentices, highlighting the tangible benefits gained through these programmes. 

By disproving myths surrounding apprenticeships, employers are actively contributing to the transformation of the workforce and challenging outdated norms. Apprenticeships have come a long way from their traditional roots, embracing new industries and shattering misconceptions along the way. 

Changing paradigms in apprenticeship programmes have led to individuals discovering a wealth of opportunities to gain practical skills, obtain recognised qualifications, and forge rewarding careers. 

Competence, the app, serves as a testament to the evolving nature of apprenticeships, providing valuable resources and information to those seeking to embark on this exciting educational journey. How can we help you? Check out our website :

Let's talk: send an email to if you'd like to discuss your next project.