Youngsters believe apprenticeships are a shackle, study finds

One in five youngsters think taking on an apprenticeships will tie them to one career path for life, a study by training provider Positive Outcomes has found.

The government-funded provider questioned 227 people aged between 16 and 24 on their perceptions of apprenticeships ahead of next month’s National Apprenticeship Week.


Tied for life

Some 22 per cent of respondents feared that an apprenticeship would not allow them any career flexibility, and would instead mean they would be stuck on the same path for the rest of their working life.

The majority (88 per cent) thought their pay would be too low if they took on an apprenticeship, while 30 per cent believe a university education will afford them a higher salary than studying for an apprenticeship.

In addition, 41 per cent said they think an apprenticeship is not perceived as a “proper job”.


Misconceptions need to be challenged

Although apprenticeships are on the rise, the study revealed a worrying tranche of misconceptions surrounding them as a viable career option, which need to be tackled.

Kelly Ball, joint managing director of Positive Outcomes, said: “One of the more surprising [misconceptions] we uncovered during our research indicated a fifth of prospective apprentices believed their career path was set in stone were they to take up an apprenticeship.

“This certainly suggests that work needs to be done to dispel these myths. Apprenticeships have long been associated with the stigma of poor wages, and it’s clear that stigma is still firmly in place.

“People need to realise that in 2016 this simply isn’t the case.


Multiple benefits

“Many apprenticeship providers are keen to bring in the right talent at a young age in order to nurture their abilities. You’ll often find employers are willing to pay more in a competitive marketplace.

“It’s also important to bear in mind there are no associated costs with an apprenticeship – you are literally paid to learn, so elements such as university tuition fees aren’t a factor.”