New research from a leading apprenticeships provider has revealed that more than three fifths of apprentices didn’t know where to turn to for apprenticeship advice before embarking on an apprenticeship career path. Furthermore, a quarter of successful applicants faced difficulty when it came to getting on an apprenticeship scheme.
The study, conducted by Positive Outcomes, a nationally based government-funded training and apprenticeships provider, questioned 227 apprentices aged between 16 and 24, as part of research ahead of 2016 Apprenticeship Week. All of those questioned were either currently enrolled on an apprenticeship scheme or had previously completed one.
Ryan Longmate, joint managing director of Positive Outcomes, said: “When it comes to making a big decision about your future, information is key. You want to be able to weigh up the pros and cons and to know as much about your potential career path as possible. There’s a wealth of information about apprenticeships out there, but it seems that many youngsters of apprenticeship age aren’t aware of where to go to in order to find it.”
As part of the wider study, respondents were asked: ‘Before getting your apprenticeship did you know about any other organisations who could help you other than people at school?” to which only 37% said ‘yes’. The remaining 63% said ‘no’, they didn’t know of any.
Ryan said: “This is a worrying statistic. With the Government looking to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, it’s essential that young people know where to turn to get sufficient advice. Based on this finding, it’s clear that there needs to be a major push on the opportunities available and where you can learn more about them. This is where portals such as Paid to Learn can come in, offering practical tips and advice as well as genuine apprenticeship opportunities.”
The study also asked, ‘Did you find it easy to get an apprenticeship?’ to which the majority said ‘yes’. However, a quarter (26%) of the apprentices surveyed said ‘no’. 9% felt there ‘didn’t seem to be much support out there for young adults’, with careers advisers ‘not really promoting apprenticeships’. 7% said they had to ‘go to lots of interviews before finding the right apprenticeship’, whilst 10% said they ‘took a long time to search for vacancies’.
Ryan commented: “Whilst the majority of those who took up an apprenticeship role believed it was a straightforward process, one in four found it difficult, which is a troubling statistic. Considering this is a study of those who’ve successfully enrolled on a scheme, it’s a certainty that many more will have been put off by this and looked at an alternative route. It’s yet more evidence work needs to be done if we want to make it an easily accessible career route.”
Ryan Longmate concluded: “At present, university is seen as the foremost educational route. Apprenticeships are just as viable, if not more so, and that’s something that the UK educational system needs to work on promoting if it wants to achieve the Government’s apprenticeship target. It’s an uphill struggle, but with the right backing it’s certainly achievable.”