Are apprenticeships overlooked by careers advisors?

According to a new report by the UK’s National Careers Council and supported by Nestlé, ‘Taking action: Achieving a culture change in careers provision,’ most careers advice is aimed at adults rather than young people, with apprenticeships and vocational qualifications often overlooked.

CEO of Nestlé UK and Ireland, and a Commissioner at the UKCES, Fiona Kendrick, said: “UKCES research shows almost half (48%) of UK employers have staff who are not making full use of their skills,” said Kendrick. “Poor careers advice exacerbates this situation, and risks more young people being caught in careers where they fail to maximise their talents.

“A lack of advice on differing career pathways is also a significant problem, with vocational routes into work – such as apprenticeships and vocational qualifications – often being overlooked when young people are making such important decisions.”

Ben Rowland, co-founder of Arch, the IT and Digital Apprenticeship programme, said he is not surprised by the research: “We have met thousands of young people who have applied for our apprenticeships over the last two years. Very few have more than a patchy understanding of what careers are available to them and where they and their skills might fit in. The time and effort wasted by both young people and employers because of this gap in understanding is huge.”