Schools and local authorities are being written to by the Government to ensure they are encouraging pupils to look at the whole range of vocational options out there in a bid to promote different routes into the workplace.
It comes as it the Department for Education has launched the Fire it Up campaign to raise awareness of apprenticeships to all ages and backgrounds and among young people, parents and employers.
Fire it Up includes national TV and social media adverts, and a new website that provides helpful advice and information as well as access to thousands of apprenticeship opportunities across the country.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “We are seeing the apprenticeship system in this country come of age, with leading employers waking up to the benefits apprenticeships can bring.
“The sad truth is that outdated and snobby attitudes are still putting people off apprenticeships which means they’re missing out on great jobs and higher salaries – many of them in the sorts of firms graduates look to land jobs with after university.
“It’s vital that we challenge people’s thinking about apprenticeships which is why the Government’s new ‘Fire It Up’ campaign will aim to shift deeply held views and drive more people towards an apprenticeship.
“At the same time we need to make sure that young people have access to information about all of the opportunities that are out there so we are taking action to make sure all schools invite a wide range of providers in to help young people choose the right career path for them.”
The new apprenticeships known as ‘standards’ have been developed in collaboration with leading firms to ensure they provide people with the skills and knowledge that they are looking for in job hunters.
There is a huge range of apprenticeships to choose from including aerospace engineering, nuclear science, teaching, nursing, digital marketing, fashion and law, with the opportunity to study right up to degree level. Apprentices will earn while they learn and can expect to receive around 700 training hours on average – up from 560 hours the year before.
Don’t miss: Our big skills feature in the March issue of Business & Innovation Magazine
To make sure young people can hear about and understand all the options available to them, like doing an apprenticeship or going to a further education college, the Government backed the Baker Clause in January 2017. The clause stipulates schools must invite a wide range of education and training providers in to help young people choose the right career path for them.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton is writing to the 10 largest Multi Academy Trusts currently not complying with the clause to remind them of their legal duty and if there is evidence that a school is not providing their students with a full range of information, the Government will take appropriate action.
Through its nationwide Enterprise Adviser Network, The Careers & Enterprise Company is also working with schools and colleges to promote technical options and apprenticeships as well giving young people more experience of the world of work.
Alim Jalloh, apprentice at Channel 4 and campaign star said: “Young people like me are thinking about their options. University is a good idea, but it is not for everyone. Ultimately it wasn’t for me because I didn’t feel it was preparing me for the job I really wanted. My apprenticeship was an amazing combination of world-class on-the-job learning, hyper relevant qualifications, with a clear potential career ahead of me. All while earning a salary.”