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One in five worry an apprenticeship will trap them in a career

Around one in five (22%) young people fear an apprenticeship will set them on a career path they’d have to stick with for life

The study, conducted by national government-funded training and apprenticeships providerPositive Outcomes, questioned 227 young adults aged between 16 and 24 as part of research ahead of 2016's Apprenticeship Week.

The research revealed that 88% of respondents felt their wages would be too low if they took on an apprenticeship, with 30% assuming they would earn more after going to university than through doing an apprenticeship.

The reputation of apprentices was also an issue, with four out of 10 (41%) reporting concerns that apprenticeships are not seen as a ‘proper job’.

Kelly Ball, joint managing director of Positive Outcomes, said that a major factor holding apprenticeships back from becoming the go-to educational career route is the misconceptions that surround them.

“One of the more surprising [misconceptions] we uncovered during our research indicated a fifth of prospective apprentices believed their career path was set in stone were they to take up an apprenticeship,” she said. “This certainly suggests that work needs to be done to dispel these myths.

“Apprenticeships have long been associated with the stigma of poor wages, and it’s clear that stigma is still firmly in place,” she added.

“People need to realise that in 2016 this simply isn’t the case. Many apprenticeship providers are keen to bring in the right talent at a young age in order to nurture their abilities. You’ll often find employers are willing to pay more in a competitive marketplace. It’s also important to bear in mind there are no associated costs with an apprenticeship – you are literally paid to learn, so elements such as university tuition fees aren’t a factor.”