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More than 2 in 5 Students Think Uni Won’t Make Them Work-Ready

16 Aug 2019

More than 2 in 5 Students Think Uni Won’t Make Them Work-Ready

New figures from digital learning specialist AVADO show that more than 2 in 5 students don’t think that going to university in order to get a degree will prepare them for the world of work.

As hundreds of thousands of teenagers in the UK have just received their A level results, the AVADO research reveals that 44 per cent of Upper Sixth students think that a university degree won’t make them work-ready.

The research canvassed the opinions of 500 students who have just completed Year 13 and found that 1 in 5 respondents thought that doing a few years of work experience would be a more effective way to get ready for their desired career path.

1 in 12 of the students said that heading off to university would only delay them from entering the workplace, yet, somewhat counterintuitively, 3 in 4 still said they planned on studying for a degree.

1 in 10 of the students said they would try to find a job straight after leaving school or college, double the number who said they would apply for an apprenticeship or take a gap year break.

Despite only 25 of the students saying they fancied doing an apprenticeship after their A Levels, almost half of the respondents (49 per cent) said that universities should be creating more degree apprenticeships. 2 in 5 said unis should provide more internship options and apprenticeship opportunities than they are currently offering.

One final item flagged up in the survey was that young people feel that career guidance is lacking, with almost a third saying they didn’t have access to careers advice which would assist them in making the correct decisions about their future.

Offering her opinions on the survey’s findings, the chief growth officer at AVADO, Clare Whittingham, said: “We don’t believe universities are giving students the skills they need to enter the workforce after university. We’ve encountered numerous organisations who are looking to use tools such as the apprenticeship levy to support graduate programmes, and create the right skill sets within their graduate hires.”

“Most university courses are not created in response to employer demand or need, so students are leaving university without the required practical and technical skills to effectively enter the workforce, resulting in graduates struggling to find roles and employers having to invest in reskilling graduates to give them the right level of practical knowledge.”

“There is a huge opportunity for employers and educators to collaborate more to create relevant skills programmes which can help foster the right talent and skills in the existing and future workforce, from accelerating the pace of apprenticeship standard development, and providing the right flexibility in an apprenticeship to ensure it meets employers’ needs, to developing the right skill sets in university courses to ensure whatever route to work people take they can be equipped to thrive in the future.”

“We all need to become clearer on the skills and behaviours that employers are looking for and ensure our education system is set up to ensure it can foster these skills. But we also need to celebrate the different routes into the workforce and invest time in raising the profile and brand of apprenticeships as a comparable alternative to university with students, parents and teachers.”

“We need to enable people to choose the option that is right for them, their learning style, their ambition and their mindset to help everyone achieve their potential,” concluded Ms Whittingham.

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