Young adults believe apprenticeships restrict career path 


More than one in five young adults believe taking the route of an apprenticeship means you’ll have to work in that industry for life, research finds. 

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More than one in five young adults believe taking the route of an apprenticeship means you’ll have to work in that industry for life, research finds. 

The study, conducted by Positive Outcomes, questioned 227 young adults aged between 16 and 24, as part of research ahead of 2016 Apprenticeship Week.

Kelly Ball, joint managing director of Positive Outcomes says, ‘The apprenticeship star is on the rise, but a big element holding apprenticeships back from becoming the go to educational career route is the misconceptions that surround them.

‘One of the more surprising we uncovered during our research indicated a fifth of prospective apprentices believed their career path was set in stone were they to take up an apprenticeship. This certainly suggests that work needs to be done to dispel these myths!’

Respondents to the study were asked “Why do you think young adults are put off by the idea of doing an apprenticeship?” and asked to select from a list of potential options, ticking all that applied.

In addition to the 22 per cent who think doing an apprenticeship meant they had to work in that industry for life, the study also reveals that 88 per cent feel ‘wages are too low’.

Some 41 per cent are concerned apprenticeships ‘aren’t seen as a proper job’, while 30 per cent assume they’d be ‘earning more after going to university’ than through doing an apprenticeship.

Ball adds, ‘Apprenticeships have long been associated with the stigma of poor wages, and it’s clear that stigma is still firmly in place. People need to realise though that in 2016, this simply isn’t the case.

‘Many apprenticeship providers are keen to bring in the right talent at a young age in order to nurture their abilities. You’ll often find employers are willing to pay more in a competitive marketplace.’

She adds that it is also important to bear in mind there are no associated costs with an apprenticeship; you are literally paid to learn, so elements such as university tuition fees aren’t a factor.

‘Competition for graduate jobs is fierce, but apprentices have invaluable practical experience which simply can’t be replicated in any other learning environment.’

Further reading on apprenticeships

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