School leavers ‘put off apprenticeships over misconceptions about pay

The Independent is reporting research that suggests school leavers are put off apprenticeships because of misconceptions about pay, qualifications and benefits

Although apprentices earn an average weekly wage of £257, most school leavers asked to guess their typical pay thought it was less than £200 a week, while 4 per cent even believed apprentices had to work for nothing.

The findings raise concerns over the information about apprenticeships being given to school and college students, with one in 10 incorrectly believing that recognised qualifications are not available through apprenticeship programmes. Almost 30 per cent of 16 to 18-year-olds in the UK said the information about apprenticeships in their school or college is “poor”, “very poor” or “non-existent”, compared with just 6 per cent who thought the same about information they were given regarding university…

Fifteen per cent decided against an apprenticeship because their school or college had not given it as an option and eight per cent felt they were for students that could not get into university, the study by the Prudential insurance company found. Cathy Lewis, executive director of corporate services at Prudential, said: “Our research suggests that more needs to be done to bring perceptions in line with reality and ensure school leavers understand the benefits of an apprenticeship, particularly in terms of pay and qualifications.”…

…However, many young people believe options are limited, with 29 per cent of those who decided against an apprenticeship put off because they thought programmes were confined to certain industry sectors. For example, 48 per cent did not know that apprenticeships were on offer in the financial services and insurance industries…

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Are you surprised by these apparently negative misconceptions about apprenticeships or does it reinforce the suggestion we have heard before that schools are not promoting them effectively enough?

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  1. Too often apprenticeships are viewed as something for other people’s children.  And while schools are judged on the proportion of pupils who go to uni or receive politicians’ praise for the number going to Russell Group, this isn’t go to change.  Few schools are going to push apprentices if it deters their pupils from proceeding to the sixth form (unless, of course, they’re pupils they want to get rid of) or if it stops them applying to uni.

  2. thiskidsthinkin

    There is too much importance placed on university by schools as that looks better. It would be interesting if schools could keep track of past pupils and how well they have done after taking an apprenticeship. Might change minds.

  3. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Is this not a consequence of govt stopping money for careers? If schools could afford careers advisors this wouldn’t happen

  4. nrcantor

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Apprenticeships are formalised acceptance by gov of business’s reneging on the social contract.

  5. andylutwyche

    nrcantor SchoolsImprove I kind of agree; business unwilling to invest in training their own workforce as it eats into profit

  6. nrcantor

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove I’ve hired and worked with apprentices. In older times, we would’ve called them trainees & paid a decent wage.

  7. andylutwyche

    nrcantor SchoolsImprove It does seem that many business expect “the finished article” straight out of schools nowadays, or so media report

  8. nrcantor

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Just think about the government saying ‘Schools should prepare school leavers for work.’

  9. nrcantor

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Of course not, there are thousands of different types of jobs. It’s the employer’s responsibility.

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