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10 Apr 2015

Apprenticeships still not seen as equal to university education

Apprenticeships still not seen as equal to university education

Here at Fascia Graphics®, where we manufacture bespoke membrane switches, graphic overlays and screen printed labels, we are keen advocates of Apprenticeships. We have already concluded one successful apprenticeship programme, leading to full time positions for all participants.

We are now nine months into our second apprenticeship programme, which we are hopeful will be just as successful.

Though apprenticeships are increasingly being seen as a good career path for young people, they are still not held in the same regard as a university degree, which is viewed as the ‘gold standard’.

Research has found that many parents view apprenticeships as a career route for those who are less academic; and while 90% agree that apprenticeships are a good option, only one third believe it is the right route for their child.

If this image of apprenticeships is going to change, it will take a concerted effort from businesses, professional bodies and the government alike. In particular there should be more investment in career advice, given to both students and parents. Research has found that only 19% of parents had a conversation with their child’s school regarding apprenticeships, compared to 45% who discussed about university. 

Apprenticeships have played a vital role for many, being the stepping stone to a great career.

Henry Ford, for example, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, started off as an apprentice, then went on to build one of the most successful automotive companies in the world.  

It is of vital importance, that if manufacturing is to continue to grow and the skills shortage is to be reduced, then the image of apprenticeships needs to be improved.

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