Two-thirds of students are interested, yet only one-fifth of teachers recommend Apprenticeships

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Image: Adobe Stock

Only one in five teachers say they would advise high-performing students to opt for an Apprenticeship instead of university study, Sutton Trust research has found.

The figure has improved since 2014, when similar Sutton Trust research found that just 13 per cent of teachers said they would recommend Apprenticeships.

However, the findings have still caused concern that the battle for parity of esteem between vocational and academic qualifications is far from won.

The survey involved more than 1,200 teachers and was published on Monday (July 2) ahead of a major summit on Apprenticeships hosted by the Sutton Trust.

While 21 per cent of the secondary teachers in the research said they would advise an Apprenticeship route, 64 per cent said they would “rarely” or “never” recommend this pathway.

Of those unlikely to advise their students to start an Apprenticeship, more than a third said it was down to a lack of information about Apprenticeships in general and in relation to the options available to their students. Just over a quarter thought their students had better career prospects at university, while 14 per cent cited negative views about the quality of Apprenticeships on offer.

The findings are all the more concerning given that the same research reveals that 64 per cent of the 2,400 11 to 16-year-olds polled said they would be very or fairly interested in starting an Apprenticeship for a job they wanted to do instead of going to university – up from 55 per cent in 2014.

Previous research by the Sutton Trust has found that the best apprentices – those with a Level 5 qualification or higher – will earn £50,000 more in their lifetime than someone with an undergraduate degree from a university outside of the Russell Group.

The charity – which exists to improve social mobility through education – says that the findings highlight “a disconnect” between young people’s interest in Apprenticeships and the advice they are offered at school.

Around 40 per cent of the young people also said that their teachers had never discussed the idea of Apprenticeships with them. However, this figure has improved from 31 per cent in 2014.


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