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Schools failing on apprenticeship advice

UK: Only 8% of students are being advised to seek a work-based apprenticeship, according to a new YouGov survey.

The survey was commissioned by the Electrical Contractors’ Association ECA, training provider JTL, and the Joint Industry Board (JIB) amongst students aged 15 to 18 in school or college in 2016/2017.

In contrast to the meagre 8% being advised on apprenticeships, some 85% of students are instead encouraged to go into further or higher education, such as university study. Just 3% were advised to seek a job.

In addition, over one-quarter of students (28%) said they had never even been spoken to about work-based apprenticeships by their school or college.

“These findings show that too many young people are effectively being led up the garden path by careers advice in schools, which is significantly out of step with the needs of industry and future employers,” commented the ECA’s director of employment and skills Alex Meikle.

The survey also revealed that just 7% of students were ever encouraged to consider finding a job in a skilled trade. This compares to 31% being encouraged into roles within medicine such as a doctor, education 31% and legal/finance 30%. However, 36% were advised to consider careers in engineering.

“There are some fantastic opportunities out there for young people to start an apprenticeship and embark on a career in a highly skilled and well paid job. However schools need to do more to highlight the benefits of apprenticeships, and we look forward to working with them on this agenda,” said Jon Graham, chief executive of JTL.

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