Last week FE weekly published an article on degree apprenticeships, questioning whether they are a viable alternative to University.
Put simply, there are huge benefits to degree apprenticeships, both for the apprentice and the employer:
- The average starting salary for degree apprentices is £18,000
work in their chosen field for up to five years, becoming highly
skilled at the job, gaining valuable experience and filling often
chronic skills gaps
- They support employers and universities to better work together creating meaningful conversations around talent solutions
- The apprentice receives time off for training and study, bringing new skills back in to the business
- Apprentices come out with a degree and avoid the £9,000 a year annual fees of University
I was reading the article I thought back to my time as a teacher and
asked myself whether I could have done more to promote apprenticeships
to my students. I definitely spoke to my students about both degrees and
apprenticeships as viable routes to employment but was I fully equipped
to really promote them both equally? How much did I really know about
degree apprenticeships and the benefits to the young people in my
classroom? On reflection, as a busy teacher in an inner city London
School I do not remember being given the time or adequate resource to
give relevant information about any type of apprenticeships to my
students. In fact, in a study published just last month by The Sutton
Trust over a third of teachers polled, said they were unlikely to
recommend apprenticeships due to a lack of sufficient information- that
needs and has to change.
Teachers are not the only ones confused. A
recent survey by The Chartered Management Institute of 1,004 UK parents
of 11- to 18-year-olds, found that only one in five had any knowledge
of apprenticeships. Worryingly, awareness of these programmes was much
worse among families from some of the least advantaged communities
across the UK. Parents are the primary source of careers advice for
young people, so how do we raise awareness?
The FE article also
stated that only 117 degree apprenticeship are currently on offer across
the UK. So, how can we raise awareness or ask that they be considered a
viable alternative when your comparing that to the 30,000 university
courses that were available through clearing this A-level results day?
More degree apprenticeships will become available later in the year, but
surely at the time of year when young people are most focussed on their
future after leaving school, universities and training providers should
have been fully prepared for this moment! Without providing a viable
choice, they are left with no other option. It’s a huge disservice to
those young people for whom University isn’t the right option.
there are so few degree apprenticeships there’s no wonder teachers are
not equipped to promote them and parents are not aware of them.
lack of availability or awareness isn’t the only reason apprenticeships
are not well promoted. It’s complicated. There’s a huge lack of clarity
as to how apprenticeships really work; a load of outdated perceptions
that surround them; and a huge need for training providers and employers
to work together to manage the supply and demand. If these stakeholders
are not on the same page and working together how can we really make
apprenticeships a viable alternative to University?
my time as a teacher and as founder of The Girls’ Network I have
encountered countless talented, bright young people for whom University
isn’t the right option. I’ve joined Further my Futures to open up access
to apprentices, to employers and to provide young people with an easy,
clear way to access them. We believe that cutting through the complexity
around apprenticeships we can empower businesses to lead a change in