Nearly half of students think apprenticeships are mainly for men

A new survey has revealed some concerning perceptions around apprenticeships. The Student Room, the largest student community website in the UK, recently polled 10,000 young people in order to get a picture of how they view vocational and academic education.

In one of the most startling stats about how apprenticeships are perceived and understood, only 11% of young people said they felt “fully informed” about this training and career option. A further 40% said they had received “very little” or “no information” about taking on an apprenticeship, confirming other recent studies that have highlighted the current image problem facing apprenticeships.

In addition to poor levels of knowledge, perceptions of who apprenticeships are aimed at are also revealing: the survey showed nearly half (40%) of students think apprenticeships are taken up mostly by men, with just 1% saying they felt apprenticeships were mainly taken by women.


‘Students should investigate every option’

Zoe McMillan, community manager at The Student Room, said: “These findings show a worrying perception amongst students of a non-existent gender imbalance within apprenticeships.  Apprenticeships are a highly credible pathway for both male and female students seeking knowledge, training and on the job experience in their chosen career.

“It would be a huge shame if today’s students were missing out on potential career opportunities because of out-dated misconceptions. I’d encourage everyone to fully investigate every option before committing to their chosen pathway after school,” added McMillan.

Full survey results:

Question: Apprenticeships are mainly taken by?

Answers (from all 10,000 students):

–        Men – 40%

–        Women – 1%

–        An equal % of men and women – 25%

–        Don’t know – 35%

 Question: Apprenticeships are mainly taken by… Men

–        Female respondents  – 41%

–        Male respondents  – 39%

 Question: How informed do you feel about taking on an apprenticeship?

–        Fully informed on this option – 11%

–        Had some information on this option – 48%

–        Received very little or no information on this option – 40%

Question: Which information source had the biggest influence on your decision to do an apprenticeship?

–        Information on a website – 31%

–        A parent – 21%

–        The experience of someone the same age – 17%

–        A career adviser – 13%