Affluent students get apprenticeships advantage


New research from the CIM reveals that A Level students from disadvantaged backgrounds are more at risk of missing out on ‘free’ degree apprenticeships.

The research attributes this to the fact that affluent parents are two and a half times more likely to know about the new breed of ‘earn as you learn’ degree apprenticeships.

Students from less privileged backgrounds are in danger of being left behind by the low awareness and the research is released on the back of a government report that highlights the widening gulf between attainment of the richest and poorest students in higher education.

26% of parents in the best educated and highest earning group know about degree apprenticeships, compared with 10% of parents in lower socio-economic bands.

Of those in the know, 69% agree that degree apprenticeships are better value for money than a university degree. 83% said that, if they were 18 again and the option was available, they would consider taking a degree apprenticeship. 89% also believe that a professional qualification would make a student more employable on completion of a degree.

The CMI survey consulted just over 1,000 parents of 11-18 year olds and found that awareness of degree apprenticeships has increased from 13% to 20% in the last year.

Despite this growing awareness, the knowledge gap between parents from different social groups adds to the concern raised by recent Department for Education data that also shows the gap in attainment growing between school leavers from affluent areas and those from less privileged backgrounds.

Launched in 2015, the CIM’s Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship currently has more than 500 students enrolled from all backgrounds.

The Trailblazer degree-level apprenticeship, developed by a group of more than 30 leading employers, has been tipped by Universities UK to become the most subscribed of the new breed of degree-level apprenticeships created under the Government’s Trailblazer scheme.

Petra Wilton, CMI’s Director of Strategy and an architect of the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, says: “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. Apprenticeships give young people a way to earn as they learn, sidestep tuition fees, and to gain both a degree and professional qualification – and then land a job at the end of their studies. When aware of this option, parents clearly support this route, so we need to ensure that no school leaver misses out regardless of their background”.

Lady Cobham, director-general of The 5% Club, said: “This excellent research demonstrates how important good careers advice is for young people. Apprenticeships provide a huge range of qualifications and career opportunities. This lack of knowledge is detrimental to developing the skills we need to meet the UK’s current shortage and make our economy successful”.


Thursday, 31 August 2017

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