The study, conducted by Positive Outcomes, a nationally based government-funded training and apprenticeships provider, questioned 227 young adults aged between 16 and 24, as part of research ahead of 2016 Apprenticeship Week. The most eye catching finding of the study revealed 22% of respondents feared that an apprenticeship set them on a career path that they’d have to stick with for life.
Kelly Ball, joint managing directing of Positive Outomes, said: “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% who thought doing an apprenticeship meant they had to work in that industry for life, the study also revealed that 88% felt ‘wages were too low’. 41% were concerned apprenticeships ‘aren’t seen as a proper job’, whilst 30% assumed they’d be ‘earning more after going to university’ than through doing an apprenticeship.
Kelly said: “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. It’s 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.”
She continued: “Other elements uncovered by the survey demonstrate similar falsehoods. Apprenticeships are a proper job. Those on apprenticeship schemes are treated in the same manner as any other employee and, in our experience, the vast majority end up with permanent employment at the end of their apprenticeship.”
Kelly concluded: “To come back to our opening statistic though, the fact one in five think doing an apprenticeship pigeon holes you for life is a worrying point. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Apprenticeships provide you with fantastic transferable skills and unparalleled business experience. What you learn as an apprentice will put you in good stead for the rest of your career, whatever that happens to be.”