employment 4 students - The UK's most visited student jobsite


7 In 10 Youngsters ‘Unsure What An Apprenticeship Is’

30 Jun 2018

New independent research by building maintenance and facilities services firm ABM UK has revealed that a massive 7 in 10 young people are ‘unsure’ about what an apprenticeship is.

No Freshers Job

Even more worrying is that the survey also found that over a third of parents also had a lack of knowledge about apprenticeships and their benefits.

Indeed, the second statistic about parents is no doubt a major contributor to the first statistic about young people, given that mum and dad tend to be the ones driving their children’s career paths from an early age.

The data was compiled after canvassing the opinions of 2,000 children aged 11 to 16, and the 2,000 parents of children from that same age group.

Career Influencers

Asked what factors influenced their career choices, 3 in 5 of the youngsters said that their parents were the major contributors, compared to 2 in 5 who put teachers and school in first place. Only 1 in 7 young people under 17 year said that friends were influential in their choice of career path.

Three times more parents would rather their children went to university after leaving school rather than doing an apprenticeship, not particularly surprising given that 38 per cent didn’t really understand what apprenticeships are.

Only one in seven parents thought that apprenticeships were a good idea, with the case against them being formed around negative perceptions such as poor wages, no future career path and that they were ‘a last resort for those who fail their exams.’

Enriching, Lucrative, Credible Apprenticeships

Commenting on the findings, Adam Baker, director of ABM UK, said: “When a young person is set to choose a university, there’s a huge amount of support from schools, parents and educational bodies such as UCAS.”

“We need similar representation for apprenticeships and technical careers to ensure young people in the UK don’t miss out on enriching, lucrative and credible career options. It’s vital we give parents and schools more information and empower them to show children all the options open to them.”

“We were shocked to find a genuine lack of knowledge on apprenticeships amongst parents, and that many still consider them to be a last resort for children who fail their exams.”

“It shows a need for a more unified approach and a better way of communicating, especially with parents, whose influence alongside teachers is critical,” added Mr Baker.

University Not The Only Route

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon is the Chief Executive Officer of Stemettes, a social enterprise which strives to get girls from 5 to 22 years old in to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers.

She also commented on ABM’s research, saying: “University is often publicised as the ‘only’ route but this is not true. Apprenticeships are a fantastic viable alternative, which allows young people to earn while they learn and then, often before they are 20 years of age, have debt-free foundations from which to build a solid, well-paid career.”

“For many, this is the perfect route to a fulfilling and successful career. Not enough people know about the breadth and availability of apprenticeships. To make this happen we need to leverage the influence that parents and teachers have by giving them the right information,” added Dr Imafidon.

Make Sure Parents Know About Apprenticeships

MP Anne Milton, the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Minister said: “I want to make sure as many people and parents know about apprenticeships and the benefits they bring as possible, so that no matter who you are or where you come from, you have the opportunities to get on in life. That’s why we’ve set up the ‘Find an apprenticeship‘ service on gov.uk which advertises thousands of apprenticeships across England.”

“I would really urge parents and young people to take a look and see what is on offer. This country’s universities are world-class, but they are not the only way forward. Let’s make sure parents know,” said Ms Milton.

Apprenticeship Resources

If you are a young person considering pathways into work then you really should take a look at all of the options. Likewise, if you want the best career path for your children then you should also get informed about the different routes into the world of work.

Thankfully, you’ll find all of the resources you need right here on the e4s website. We have a comprehensive apprenticeship section which details exactly what they are, what you can expect and what you could end up with when you finish an apprenticeship. There are also lots of different articles about the wide variety of sectors and professions in which you can enrol upon an apprenticeship.

Okay, it’s over to you – time to end the negativity and get all the information you need about apprenticeships now!

Share article with your network

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to comment on this article.

Enter your email address and we'll send you the latest blog updates