Less than half (48%) of 16- to 21-year-olds received information on apprenticeships from their schools, according to research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and the EY Foundation.
By contrast, 86% of this age group had been given guidance from their schools about going to university.
The research suggested this disparity is affecting attitudes towards apprenticeships. While two in three (65%) said they associated apprenticeships with good job prospects, only 37% linked them to a good career. Two in five (42%) expressed concerns about the perceived ‘low status’ of apprenticeships, and 67% were worried about low pay.
Just one in four (24%) believed that an apprenticeship would offer them a better chance of getting a good job compared with having a university degree. However, three in five (62%) thought that big employers should be legally required to take on apprentices. Four in five (79%) thought that there should be more apprenticeships available for professional jobs.
Kathryn Austin, chief people and marketing officer at Pizza Hut Restaurants, and winner of the HR Director of the Year award at the 2016 HR Excellence Awards, said she was proud to offer degree-level apprenticeships.
“Apprenticeships are a great way for people to increase their skills and knowledge and get a headstart in their chosen career,” she said. “University may not be the right career path for everyone and it’s important for businesses and industry to encourage students to regard apprenticeships as a great way to learn on the job while also gaining qualifications.
“We’re proud to be leading the industry with our degree-level apprenticeship. A structured programme that includes a mix of academic and practical modules can help people not only gain a fantastic skills base in the hospitality industry, but also skills for life.”