Parents’ views on apprenticeships changing

Posted on 3 Oct 2016 by Jonny Williamson

Parents are increasingly recognising that apprenticeships can give their children the chance of embarking on a successful career, although worries about low wages remain, according to new research from Prudential.

According to the Prudential study, more than half of parents disagree that a university education beats apprenticeships for achieving faster career success.

Yet despite the wide range of apprenticeship opportunities on offer, worries about pay remain as two out of three (67%) parents believe apprentices are poorly paid, and 43% believe that apprenticeship opportunities are often in lower-skilled and lower-paid industries.

The study among parents of pupils who completed major school exams this summer shows that 51% disagree that graduates are more likely to achieve faster career success than apprentices, and just one in four (26%) say apprenticeships do not offer the best career path.

The study underlines how attitudes are changing, with the survey also revealing that 51% of parents disagree that apprenticeships are best suited to those considered to be non-academic.

Government data shows that wages for apprentices start at £3.30 an hour for under 19s or those in the first year of an apprenticeship, and rise in line with age. Crucially, 92% of employers are willing to pay more than the typical apprenticeship wage, provided they’re matched with the right candidate.

Apprenticeships are available in 1,500 different job roles across more than 170 industries, from advertising to youth work and from environmental engineering to legal work.

HR director at Prudential’s UK insurance business,Simon Moffatt commented: “Apprenticeships offer an excellent introduction to the world of work and increasingly parents are recognising that university is not the only route to career success after school.

“As university education becomes more expensive, many apprentices realise that the prospect of good longer-term employment opportunities offsets a potentially lower initial pay structure.

“While pay is important in any job, with apprenticeship schemes part of the attraction is gaining excellent on-the-job training with future job and career progression.”

To date, Prudential has recruited more than 175 young people into its12-month, work-based training programme. Over the past two years, around two-thirds of Prudential’s apprentices have been retained by the company in ongoing roles.