Changing attitudes to apprenticeships as students, parents and employers see more value
5 March 2018
Changing attitudes to apprenticeships as students, parents and
employers see more value.
With a record number of young people taking up Modern
Apprenticeships in Scotland, new research released from leading
business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP, ahead of
Scottish Apprenticeship Week (5-9 March), finds that attitudes
towards apprenticeship programmes are becoming more positive.
Figures from Skills Development Scotland reveal the number of
Modern Apprenticeship starts in 2016/17 hit 26,262, beating the
target of 26,000, with more than three-quarters taken up by 16 to
24 year olds. The data echoes findings from Grant Thornton's new
'Generation Apprentice' report, suggesting there is ongoing
evolution in the way apprenticeships are viewed throughout the UK,
with more employers, young people and parents recognising it as a
valuable route to a successful career.
The report, which surveyed 1,000 young people (aged 16-25) and
1,000 parents (of under 18s), revealed that:
- 70% of young people and 79% of parents think that
apprenticeships offer good career prospects
- Almost half (42%) of young people think apprenticeships and
university degrees have the same value
- 45% of parents think a university degree delivers less value
than it used to
- Two thirds (60%) of young people think that you do not need to
go to university to get a well-paid job
- Half (49%) of the young respondents who are currently at
university do not believe their degree guarantees them a well-paid
The report also investigated the attitudes of 500 UK employers.
The employer findings, developed in partnership with City &
Guilds, showed a similarly positive sentiment about hiring
apprentices, as providing training on the job also enables
organisations to meet the skills requirements of their business in
an agile and flexible way. Half of the employers surveyed said that
they plan to recruit more apprentices than they do now in the next
While the attitudes of young people, parents and employers are
evolving, the quality of advice and support for young people
looking to undertake further and higher education is not keeping
pace. The research showed that more than two-thirds (68%) of
young people say the career advice they receive is not good.
Young people say that the main sources of career information are
online (46%), teachers (22%) and parents (17%).
Andrew Howie, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton in Scotland,
"This changing attitude represents an evolution in the
expectations of young people and parents when it comes to learning
beyond school. Add in rising living costs and it becomes
clear why those looking at higher education options are
increasingly seeing apprenticeships and other earn as you learn
routes, as a positive route in to a successful career.
"In our blueprint for the UK, Shaping a Vibrant Economy, we
suggested that there is a need to incentivise collaboration between
employers and education providers. This includes creating a new
school performance measure for every pupil to have at least one
interaction with an employer every year, and encouraging
universities and business schools to offer graduate level
To download the full 'Generation Apprentice' report please click here: