Schools must promote apprenticeships and end ‘snobbery’, government says

A new law will compel state schools to put apprenticeships on an equal footing to university when it comes to promoting further and higher education.

The new legislation, expected to be introduced later this year, will ensure that apprenticeship providers and technical colleges can go into schools to give careers advice to students. It is aimed at combating “outdated snobbery” against technical and professional education.


Two-tier system

According to a recent study, two thirds (65 per cent) of teachers said they wouldn’t advise a student whose predicted grades were high enough to get into university to instead sign up for an apprenticeship.

Minster say that, by only promoting apprenticeships and vocational training to less academically able pupils, schools are perpetuating the outdated perception that apprenticeships are second best to an academic education.

The new law will place a legal duty on state schools and academies to make pupils aware of all their post-16 options, including degree-level apprenticeships.


A level playing field to open opportunities

Secretary of state for education, Nicky Morgan, said: “As part of our commitment to extend opportunity to all young people, we want to level the playing field – making sure they are aware of all the options open to them and are able to make the right choice for them.

“For many young people going to university will be the right choice, and we are committed to continuing to expand access to higher education, but for other young people the technical education provided by apprenticeships will suit them better.

“That’s why I’m determined to tackle the minority of schools that perpetuate an outdated snobbery towards apprenticeships by requiring those schools to give young people the chance to hear about the fantastic opportunities that apprenticeships and technical education offer.”


Impartiality is crucial

Welcoming the news, CEO of the Association of Colleges Martin Doel said: “To make informed choices for the future, young people need high-quality, impartial careers information about all post-16 education and training options, including apprenticeships and technical and professional education. This announcement will make that a reality.”