Careers advice on apprenticeships ‘is failing’

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

The apprentice route needs support
The apprentice route needs support

Related tags Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships in engineering and manufacturing could be in jeopardy, according to a new report from the Industry Apprentice Council (IAC) supported by Semta, the engineering skills body.

The report, surveying the views of 1,200 apprentices in these fields, showed that 98% were happy they had chosen to do apprenticeships. But they were critical about poor careers advice at schools.

Only 22% of respondents reported having good advice and many said their teachers knew nothing about apprenticeships and, worse, some schools actually penalised young people who chose apprenticeships rather than a university route.

Other findings in the report were that nearly 90% of apprentices disagreed with the government’s introduction of ‘end point assessment’ to test apprenticeships, preferring continuous assessment.

Qualification being core to an apprenticeship

Also, 92% of apprentices wanted to keep the current system of a nationally recognised qualification being core to an apprenticeship. However, the new system does not make qualifications mandatory.

“As we finalise new standards for apprenticeships it is important that ministers listen to apprentices and prevent the collapse of an extremely successful system,”​ warned Ann Watson, Semta chief executive.

“We are already facing an uphill battle with poor careers advice in schools. We need to make apprenticeships more attractive, not less, to our young people and employers, particularly the small and medium-sized enterprises.”

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