Parents consider apprenticeships ‘last resort’

A new survey shows a third of parents do not know what apprenticeships are

George Ryan

Many parents still consider apprenticeships a “last resort” if their children struggle in exams

Many parents still consider apprenticeships a “last resort” if their children struggle in exams, a new survey shows.

Research conducted by ABM UK, which provides engineering and facilities apprenticeships through its JEEP training arm, showed that among parents who knew what an apprenticeship was, just 14 per cent considered it to be a good option.

Meanwhile, two in five parents said they still wanted their children to go to university. The top reasons given for not encouraging their child to undertake an apprenticeship were that they were thought to be poorly paid (43 per cent), because they see it as a last resort for those who fail their exams (37 per cent), and a perception that apprenticeships do not lead to successful careers (17 per cent).

The study, independently commissioned by ABM UK, surveyed 2,000 British parents of children aged 11- to 16-years-old and 2,000 young people aged of the same age.

'Apprenticeships shouldn’t be pigeon-holed'

ABM director Adam Baker said he was “shocked” about the lack of knowledge of apprenticeships among parents.

He added: “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 because mum and dad are in the driving seat when it comes to career choices.

“The purpose of our research isn’t to finger-point, it’s to help parents, and other influencers. It’s vital we give parents and schools more information and empower them to show children all the options open to them, to understand that there are different paths to consider and apprenticeships shouldn’t be pigeon-holed or disregarded from the conversation.”

Young people 'ahead of the game'

Simon Ashworth, chief policy officer of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, said there is a long way to go in order to convince parents and teachers on the advantages of choosing an apprenticeship.

He added: “Young people themselves are ahead of the game, especially in terms of questioning whether they burden themselves with student debt.

“As more schools implement the Baker Clause requirements with a recognition that apprenticeships are for pupils of all abilities, the message should get through more to parents from their children that apprenticeships can put young people on the road to a highly successful career.”

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George Ryan

George Ryan

George Ryan is a further education reporter for tes

Find me on Twitter @GeorgeMRyan

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