Only 7% plan to do apprenticeships, finds poll – jp

14 June 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal

Only 7 per cent of young people plan to do an apprenticeship, according to a survey by YouGov.

YouGov undertook the online survey, which was commissioned by support services company Interserve, among a representative quota sample of 5,294 people. The aim of the survey was to look into how apprenticeships are perceived by three core groups: UK employers, 13-18 year-olds in secondary education, and their parents. The interviews were conducted online from 8-18 April 2016.

The study shows that only 7 per cent of the young people polled plan to do an apprenticeship – 72 per cent plan on going to university or college. Only 27 per cent of the parents surveyed think that an apprenticeship would be most useful for their children in pursuing a future career, versus 42 per cent who believe a university degree is the best option.

The survey also indicates a significant lack of awareness among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of the different types of apprenticeship schemes available. Only 32 per cent say they had heard of a higher or degree-level apprenticeship, compared with around half (46 per cent) of large companies that do know about them.

The study’s findings suggest that there is much to do in building awareness of the options available to help more young people find career opportunities through apprenticeships.

The research also points to a significant North-South divide in the attitudes of young people and employers towards apprenticeships, with both groups in the South favouring a university degree over work-based learning, compared with those in the North who view apprenticeships more positively.

For example, only 7 per cent of London-based businesses value qualifications from work-based learning, such as apprenticeships, when looking for new recruits, whereas this figure is twice as high (14 per cent) in the West Midlands and stands at 19 per cent in the North-East.

Furthermore, among the young people surveyed, only 2 per cent of those based in London were looking to take up an apprenticeship as their next educational or career step – significantly lower than in the North of England or Scotland (8 per cent).

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