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Why don’t 15-16 year olds believe in apprenticeships?

Posted on from Changeboard

The majority of 15-16 year olds have lost faith in apprenticeships. However, by understanding their perspective organisations can change this.

Research by Santander has revealed that only 8%  of 15-16 year olds are considering an apprenticeship as a preferred route into work. 

With so few students choosing apprenticeships as a means to begin their career, it is important for organisations to understand the perspective of young people and gain an insight into how they are making their career decisions. 

The Santander report highlights that many (63%) of 15-16 year olds believe that it is simply necessary to have A-levels or a degree in order to pursue their career; with 42% believing that apprenticeships provided little value beyond the resulting job.

Vicky Wallis, HR director at Santander says: “There is a massive gap between the perception of apprenticeships and the reality. Our research shows that although many young people believe that apprenticeships are not relevant for those who want to continue their education, one of the huge advantages of an apprenticeship is the programmes combination of studying with gaining professional experience, all while earning a salary.”

There is a need for organisations to clearly communicate what apprentices will learn, and how the learning experience, while being different, is as viable as academic learning. 

The report shows that although pupils intending to go to university expect to earn more than double that those who go becomes apprentices, money was not the key driver. Instead:

•    93% of 15-16 year olds said work enjoyment was a priority

•    69% said they wanted a job that made them happy

•    61% wanted a job that gave them opportunities for career progression

Taking this into account it is therefore vital for organisations to highlight to students clearly the quality of the apprenticeships on offer: demonstrating why the role and the work can be interesting, enjoyable, and lead to a long career that will be ultimately rewarding. 

Further links:

A culture of collaboration at Santander

Is our education system preparing young people for work?

Government information on apprenticeships

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