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Apprenticeships for ‘other people’s children’


Apprenticeships are widely considered second best to a university education and as something for "other people's children".

On the day that A-levels were announced across the UK, it was revealed that just over half of parents still view studying at university as the most valuable career path for their child – despite the fact that an estimated 30% of applicants will be rejected this year and average graduate debt is now topping £23,000.
Just under a third felt the same about vocational courses combined with apprenticeships, with the figure jumping to two out of five for those who believed that apprenticeships set kids up for life – as long as it was not their own. A mere 19% saw vocational training as a path they would most want their children to follow and, therefore, one that they would actively advise them to take.
These are the findings of a survey among 2,184 UK adults undertaken by YouGov on behalf of construction company Astins in order to understand the attitudes of parents to apprenticeships as major influencers in their children's future.
Dominic Tutt, Astin's managing director, said: "I strongly believe that apprenticeships aren't given the status they deserve in terms of the opportunities they present. Apprenticeships are not for other people's children. They offer a tremendous route into a rewarding career and great earning potential."
The firm takes on 20 new apprentices each year and has invested £1m in the Astins Institute.
But the study also indicated that the focus on academic study advocated by the last government had played a major role in shaping attitudes. Parents over 45 were three times more likely to want their child to undertake vocational training than those aged 18 to 24 years, with only 7% in this age bracket believing it to be the best route.
Respondents were also twice as likely to push vocational training if they held a vocational qualification themselves (29%) or had no qualifications at all (31%) than if they had a degree (12%). But 51% saw it as second best to a university education and would only recommend this path if their child was not academic enough to go down the former route.

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