With university tuition fees and maintenance fees averaging £40,000 for a three year course
in England according to UK government statistics, there has been a great deal of debate over the value of university degrees, and the merits of other alternatives open to young people making their decision on what to do after leaving formal education.
At the moment, however, the allure of university life – despite the associated costs – trumps the prospect of doing an apprenticeship for the majority of the 13-18 year olds surveyed. A large majority (72%) said they were planning on going to college or university, compared to just 7% who said they plan to do an apprenticeship.
This emphasises the scale of the challenge in promoting apprenticeships, with respondents particularly fearful of missing out on university life and the prospect of not nding apprenticeships in their desired career eld, or an apprenticeship that would lead to a job.
Our research shows, however, that many young people do not know enough about the range of apprenticeship pathways now open to them. For example, the most common reason young people do not consider degree apprenticeships as a potential alternative is that they don’t know enough about them. This is re ected across the survey, with more than half (55%) of young people stating that they did not know what Higher Level or Degree Apprenticeships were, while 82% did not know the difference between the two schemes. Given these pathways are relatively new, this may not be entirely unexpected but there is clearly a lot of work to do to improve visibility with this cohort.