JTLBy JTL - on 04 November 2015
Posted in Apprenticeships


Eight Differences Between The Apprentice and an Apprenticeship

Eight Differences Between The Apprentice and an Apprenticeship

Since 2005, our TV screens have been graced with the presence of popular BBC business-reality game-show ‘The Apprentice’. A show in which Lord Alan Sugar and his two trusted business partners put a crowd of overly confident business hopefuls through their commercial paces and systematically fire them until the last one standing wins the show.

The show has been a huge success and while it has helped to bring apprenticeships into the consciousness of the mainstream TV audience, it has also led to the term “apprentice” becoming somewhat misunderstood. In this blog, we hope to mark the key differences between a JTL apprenticeship and the BBC’s ‘The Apprentice.'

1. You don't have to be a know it all... yet
One of the best parts of starting out as an apprentice is that unlike entering into almost any other professional arena you are actually expected to have relatively little experience. As long as you can pass our initial assessment and show a keen interest in learning and developing new skills we’ll be on your side, setting you up with an employer.

2. Boardroom brawls
Fortunately for everyone involved you won't be forced to battle relentlessly in direct competition with other apprentices. Apprenticeships are about developing you as an individual at the best rate possible. You won’t have to talk down your fellow apprentices or rebute provocative comments from others. You’re part of a genuine team.

3. You won't be systematically fired
This is one of the biggest misconceptions caused by the TV show. You’re not here to fight it out and see who stays in the game; your employer will usually be training you for the full stretch of your apprenticeship. Upon completing the course, many apprentices are offered opportunities to stay on with their current employers but even if you aren’t you’re now fully qualified in your industry and ready to apply to the job of your dreams.

‘What happens if the company I work for closes?’
Your apprenticeship will be put on hold until you and your JTL training officer can find an alternative employer willing to take you on and build a contingency.
"Your JTL training officer would support you in finding a suitable donor employer if things changed at work" - Peter Bunting, JTL Electrical Training Officer.
“ If one of the apprentices I look after is made redundant during his apprenticeship he is put on an agreed break in learning while I help him look for a new employer, with the local contacts I have built up over the 12 years I have worked for JTL I am able normally to re place apprentices within the network of employers within a short period of time”- Stephen Allcorn, JTL Training Officer.

4. You won't be left to your own devices
Getting briefed and tasked with a job in sales or buying that you have no prior knowledge or experience of has become a recurring part of the TV show. This should never happen in an apprenticeship - if you are unsure of how to perform certain tasks, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for your employer’s guidance. After all, you're here to learn.

5. You won't be forced to live with strangers
You can live wherever you like; most young apprentices will choose to continue living at home until they are fully qualified. Not to mention you will usually know what you’re going to be doing tomorrow without the threat of the phone ringing at 5 in the morning asking to meet you on the other side of the city… which is always a bonus.

6. Privacy
Unlike the TV show your progress won't be tracked at all time by a camera crew broadcasting your performance to the masses. Instead, the information will be private between yourself, your employer, your college/ training centre and your JTL training officer on occasional site visits. We find this will generally help your progress better than being discussed on TV by the cast of Channel 4’s Gogglebox.

7. You're not just here to win a cash prize…
… although you will earn while you learn by receiving an apprentice wage leading to you securing a professional qualification in your field and a great final wage. Plus you’ll receive a real world experience that money can't buy.

8. No shouting into your phone in the middle of the high street
You don't always have to use the loudspeaker on your phone as a real apprentice - unless you're driving a company vehicle and you have it on hands-free, lucky you!

So, that’s it! We hope you enjoyed our take on the differences between The Apprentice and apprenticeships. Is there anything we missed? Let us know on Twitter (@JTLtraining) or in the comments below.

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