School leavers dismiss apprenticeships over pay misconceptions

According to research conducted by Prudential, many school leavers are put off of becoming apprentices as a result of misconceptions over pay.

The research found that the majority of school leavers believed the typical pay for an apprenticeship to be less that £200 per week, despite the average weekly wage being £257.

The findings suggest not enough information regarding the benefits of apprenticeships is accessible to school and college students, with ten per cent incorrectly believing that recognised qualifications are not available through apprenticeship programmes.

Furthermore, the study found that 30 per cent of 16-18-year-olds in the UK said the information about apprenticeships in their school or college is ‘poor’, ‘very poor’ or ‘non-existent’, compared to just six per cent which felt the same regarding information about university.

In addition, 15 per cent decided against an apprenticeship because their school or college had not offered it as an option, with eight per cent of students believing the option was a fall back for those who were unable to get into university.

Cathy Lewis, executive director of corporate services at Prudential, said: “Our research suggests that more needs to be done to bring perceptions in line with reality and ensure school leavers understand the benefits of an apprenticeship, particularly in terms of pay and qualifications.”

The news comes as National Apprenticeship Week officially begins, as part of the government’s wider aim to achieve three million new apprenticeship starts in England by the end of the decade.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, said: “We have been working hard to squash misconceptions, including protecting the term ‘apprenticeship’ so they have the same status as degrees. It’s great to see that more and more young people are choosing apprenticeships as a fast-track to a successful career.”

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