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Investors in People Launches Results of ‘2017 Apprenticeship Perception Poll’

Published 20th November 2017 by Charlotte Smith

Earlier this year, Investors in People conducted research and produced a report aiming to outline the determinants of a good apprenticeship scheme. One strand of this research was to pinpoint perceptions held by young people and their parents toward apprenticeships. It intended to discern what motivated young people when considering their options for study post- 16 and indeed what parents believed were the most important factor that their children should consider when weighing up whether an apprenticeship was right for them. 

Ahead of the annual Skills Show this weekend, Investors in People has put together an overview of the results of the Investors in People’s ‘2017 Apprenticeship Perception Poll’. The statistics that were gleaned from this survey revealed that misconception and outdated thinking around apprenticeships are holding the model back from making more of an impact on our education system and indeed our economy.

The Results

The headline finding was that 53% of young people have never considered applying for an apprenticeship. Given that students must now stay in education until the age of 18, it is concerning that more have not considered the career that could be offered by an apprenticeship as an alternative to university study.

Breaking these findings down further, it appears that 52% of parents see apprenticeships as a route solely for those wanting a career in the trades when in fact apprenticeships are offered across more than 170 industries and 1500 job roles.  This means that, despite these positive figures on the diversification of the apprenticeship model, the evolution is not being effectively communicated. Moreover, 28% of young people still report that apprenticeships aren’t offered in the industry they wish to work in which evidences that although great strides have been made, there is still some way to go to making apprenticeships standard practice across all sectors.

Moving Forward

Most disconcertingly, the survey revealed that 42% of young people are not confident in their ability to choose an employer who offers great quality apprenticeships. This contextualises that for those 47% of young people who do consider the apprenticeship route, it’s possible that nearly half of them don’t feel confident about their place in the process they’re about to embark on. It should be the duty of government to give schools the correct information to share with students and thus support them fully should they decide to look for an apprenticeship. Having as much information and support as possible is the most fundamental way to give young people the confidence they need to thrive on an apprenticeship scheme.

Of these findings, Investors in People CEO Paul Devoy said “There is much work to be done in communicating the benefits that following an apprenticeship scheme can produce. This is both the responsibility of government and individual employers working hard in their local areas to promote the opportunities that are available not just for school leavers, but also those looking to re-skill. The findings of IIP’s poll emphasise that perceptions must change if apprenticeships can truly be the missing link in solving Britain’s productivity puzzle.”