A-Level results: poorer students risk missing out on free Degree Apprenticeships as their parents haven’t been told about them

A-Level students from less privileged backgrounds are at risk of missing out on places on the new breed of ‘earn as you learn’ Degree Apprenticeships, according to new research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

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A quarter of parents from the most highly-educated and highest paid social groups are familiar with Degree Apprenticeships compared to just 10% of parents from lower socio-economic bands. Parents are the most common source of careers advice for young people, as was shown by AllAboutSchoolLeavers’ research in 2016.

The survey of 1,004 UK parents of 11-18-year old children reveals that overall parental awareness of Degree Apprenticeships has grown from 13% in 2016 to 20% in 2017.

However, the gap in awareness between parents from different social groups adds to concerns raised by recent Department for Education data showing a growing gap between the higher educational attainment of school leavers from affluent and less privileged backgrounds.

Degree Apprenticeships were launched in 2015, enabling students to work in paid roles while studying for a degree in a number of professional fields. Tuition fees are paid for by employers via the new Apprenticeship Levy.

Petra Wilton, CMI’s director of strategy and one of the architects of the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, said: “Degree Apprenticeships are now at risk of becoming the preserve of the privileged. Parents are the biggest influence on their children’s career decisions, so a lack of parental knowledge will deprive promising students from all backgrounds of places on degree apprenticeships.

“We’re now in danger of higher apprenticeships quickly transforming from being perceived as an alternative route into employment for the less able, to being a highly attractive option out of reach to all but the elite. Schools and employers need to work with parents to raise awareness, challenge perceptions and help all young people to consider this new route to a degree and employment.”

“We’re now in danger of higher apprenticeships quickly transforming from being perceived as an alternative route into employment for the less able, to being a highly attractive option out of reach to all but the elite. Schools and employers need to work with parents to raise awareness, challenge perceptions and help all young people to consider this new route to a degree and employment.”

Lady Cobham, director-general of The 5% club, an organisation dedicated to encouraging employers to offer apprenticeships, said: “This excellent research demonstrates how important good careers advice is for young people. Apprenticeships provide a huge range of qualifications and career opportunities.

“Students are missing out on the chance to enter the world of work, get qualified and be paid at the same time. This lack of knowledge is detrimental to developing the skills we need to meet the UK’s current shortage and make our economy successful.”

CMI’s survey of parents also revealed that for those in the know, almost 70% believe that Degree Apprenticeships represent better value for money than the traditional university route.

When asked if they would consider taking a Degree Apprenticeships if they were 18 again, four in five agreed they would. Nearly 90% believe a qualification from a professional body would make a student more employable when their child finishes their degree.

If you are a parent and are reading this, do tell your child about the post-16 options we offer as well as the great scemes we work with employers to advertise such as School Leaver Programmes.

 

Read More:

Are degree apprenticeships good?

What is the apprenticeship levy?

 

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