Young adults are more likely to consider apprenticeships over university degrees in the south west

It's National Apprenticeship Week 2023 and new research has found a significant shift in the attitudes towards apprenticeship programmes in young adults in the south west, aged 16 to 24.

By Kaleigh Pritchard  |  Published
Apprenticeships are soaring in popularity amid the cost-of-living crisis.

A new, UK-wide survey by housebuilder, Redrow, has revealed that over half of 16 to 24-year-olds in the south west are now considering apprenticeships over university courses, spurred on by the financial pressures of the cost-of-living crisis.

However, with more people willing to prioritise 'earning over learning', the research also found that there was still a perception that apprenticeship programmes carry a stigma when chosen over higher education. Over 70 per cent of those surveyed said that going to university was more encouraged at school.

That being said, survey participants were eager to list the benefits of apprenticeships with 58 per cent ranking earning a salary while learning as the top benefit, while 37 per cent placed importance on the idea that progression and promotion will be easier once entering the working world because of practical experience gained in an apprenticeship role.

Julie Tegg, employer training and apprenticeships director at Gloucestershire College, one of the partners in this year's SoGlos Gloucestershire Apprenticeship Campaign, said: 'In recent years, both ourselves and the employers we work with have seen a significant increase in the number of young people applying for higher and degree level apprenticeships. The programmes enable young people to progress often at the same rate or faster than those that enter as graduates.'

Chris Pocket, head of communications at Wotton-under-Edge global engineering firm Renishaw, which has invested in apprentices for over 40 years and also helped make this year's SoGlos campaign possible, said: 'The levels of interest in apprenticeships continues to grow, most noticeably in our degree apprenticeship schemes which are being recognised as a very attractive alternative to a pure university education.'

In terms of which careers parents are encouraging their children to pursue, engineering came out on top in the survey, with finance, construction and marketing also making the top 10.

Other partners in this year's SoGlos Gloucestershire Apprenticeship Campaign include SGS College and Gloucestershire Engineering Training.

In partnership with...

Founded in 1977 by a partnership of county businesses, Gloucestershire Engineering Training provides apprenticeship training for the county’s best and most innovative engineering firms and continues to support apprenticeships as a route to work and career development.

Globally successful engineering firm Renishaw was founded in 1973 by two former engineering apprentices and works across a wide variety of sectors, including aerospace, automotive and healthcare. Renishaw continues to show dedication to apprenticeships at all levels, too.

SGS College has forged strong links with businesses and helps train hundreds of students annually at Level 2, 3, 4 and higher, in everything from accounting and finance; business administration; carpentry; joinery; education and childcare; gas engineering and electrical installation; construction; teaching; HR; to customer services and more.

Helping more than 700 apprentices in Gloucestershire qualify each year in sectors ranging from catering to computing, Gloucestershire College cultivates strong relationships with businesses of all sizes to understand what they need and to support students through to a successful career.

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