Less than one in 12 students (8%) aged 15 to 18 in school or college in 2016/2017 are being advised to seek a work-based apprenticeship afterwards, according to new YouGov survey findings commissioned jointly by the ECA, JTL, and the Joint Industry Board.
In contrast, some 85% of students are instead encouraged to go into further or higher education, such as university study, after finishing at school or college. Just 3% were advised to seek a job.
In addition, over one-quarter of students (28%) said they had never even been spoken to about work-based apprenticeships by their school or college.
The findings come as students across the UK have found out their GCSE results, with many soon to make decisions about their future careers path.
Just one in 14 (7%) students were ever encouraged to consider finding a job in a skilled trade. This compares to three in 10 being encouraged into roles within medicine such as a doctor (31%), education such as a teacher (31%) and legal/finance (30%). However, 36% were advised to consider careers in engineering.
“An electrical apprenticeship is a rigorous and academically demanding training programme which lasts longer than a first degree, but allows the apprentice to secure skills which are in high demand and to earn while they learn without accruing any student debt,” comments Steve Brawley, chief executive of the Joint Industry Board (JIB).
“These findings show that too many young people are effectively being led up the garden path by careers advice in schools, which is significantly out of step with the needs of industry and future employers,” adds Alex Meikle, director of employment and skills at the ECA.
“There is a growing recognition of the value of undertaking apprenticeships, particularly engineering, and the electrotechnical industry will be looking to undertake further work with schools and colleges to encourage greater take-up among students.”