Apprenticeships are a poor alternative to University, say working parents

A recent survey has highlighted that although government and industry leaders are calling for more companies to offer apprenticeship schemes, that in fact working parents don’t rate their value as equivalent to that of a university degree.

The CIPD (the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) have released findings from their latest survey “Employee outlook: focus on apprenticeships” which showed that;

  • Of those asked, less than one fifth of respondents felt that apprenticeship schemes hold the same status as a university degree.
  • Almost 50% of respondents felt that apprenticeship schemes were better suited for manual roles
  • Only one in ten parents would consider an apprenticeship the preferred qualification for their child
  • Nearly half noted a university degree as their preferred qualification for their child

The respondents were asked what it would take to raise their opinion of apprenticeships and the CIPD reports that the 2 most common responses were:

  • More information on apprenticeship schemes and the career options related to them
  • An increase in the number of local companies offering apprenticeship schemes

CIPD Chief Executive, Peter Cheese said:

“Apprenticeships give young people the chance to learn and develop skills in the context of the workplace and enable employers to grow their own workforce and recruit from a more diverse pool of talent. But this new research shows that misconceptions about apprenticeships prevail, which is likely to impact the supply of potential candidates for employers that do offer apprenticeships and deter those that don’t from adapting their recruitment methods.”

There is clearly a lot that needs to be done to raise the profile of apprenticeship schemes amongst parents, who are key influencers in the career choices of their children.

With key brands in the UK, such as JP Morgan and BT beginning to offer IT apprenticeships, what do you think? A poor alternative to a university degree? Or an interesting new way to help the UK’s young people in to careers and particularly the IT industry?