Cheltenham-headquartered UCAS has revealed that more than half of students looking to apply to higher education in 2022 are interested in apprenticeships, but find it difficult to access the relevant information that they need about them.
So it’s pledged to make it much easier for students to find out more information on apprenticeships on its website.
A third of students at schools and only half in colleges said that they were not told about apprenticeships, despite there being a legal requirement placed on schools to do so, known as the Baker clause in England.
The research highlights that more needs to be done to highlight the benefits of apprenticeships – only eight per cent of students surveyed associated apprenticeships with leading to a good job. An apprenticeship offers on-the-job training and is a great path to a good career in a variety of sectors, yet only four per cent of students associate the word ‘prestigious’ with apprenticeships compared with 76 per cent for a traditional university degree.
Apprenticeships listed on the ‘Career Finder’ tool of the UCAS site were viewed more than 1.2 million times in the past twelve months, so it is not a case of ‘starting from scratch’, the organisation said.
UCAS is well known for its careers advice, information, and guidance, signposting the diverse routes to higher education. But it’s not as strong in providing similar information for those looking apprentices in a truly comparable manner.
UCAS Chief Executive Clare Marchant said: “UCAS is about much more than applying to an undergraduate degree – we provide information and support across the full range of post-18 opportunities. But more needs to be done to shake off the outdated stigma or misplaced snobbery associated with apprenticeships, given they are a great start to any career.
“We recognise students have more choice than ever before, but navigating the information available can be challenging for both students and advisers. UCAS aims to be the go-to place for all post-secondary options and enable students to navigate apprenticeship opportunities side by side with undergraduate courses. We will also play a core role in delivering the ambition set out in the Skills Bill announced this month by the government.”