Apprenticeships are being ignored in favour of higher education by young people across Sussex, a new report have revealed.
The YouGov survey commissioned by employment specialists Reed in Partnership and qualifications body NCFE suggests apprenticeships have an ‘image problem’ among young people – with those aged 18-24 the least likely age group to see the merit of an apprenticeship.
The Government’s Apprenticeship Strategy states that their “goal is for young people to see apprenticeships as a high quality and prestigious path to successful careers”.
However, an 18-24 year old is almost four times less likely than someone aged 55+ to view an apprenticeship as the best option for 18 year olds.
Only 7% of people aged 18-24 considered apprenticeships as the best way forward, while 68% think high education is the best option.
Only 19% of people in the South-East view apprenticeships as the best option for 18 year olds, compared to 46% who view higher education as the best option.
Poor quality careers advice is being cited as a key reason for this ‘image problem’ of apprenticeships.
In order to change young people’s perceptions of apprenticeships compared to higher education, careers advice in schools must become less narrowly focused on the university route, according to a joint Reed in Partnership and NCFE report,
The report makes the following recommendations to the government to improve the perception of apprenticeships:
- Careers advice should promote alternative options to university, such as apprenticeships. It should begin at an earlier age and young people must be informed of the progression routes within industries if they choose a vocational path.
- Increased employer engagement with schools is key to improving the perception of apprenticeships among young people. This should be encouraged by national government policy, but with a flexible model that encourages local partnerships.
- Government should seek to increase the minimum wage for apprenticeships to the same as other workers in order to boost the image of apprenticeships.
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