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Plumbing qualifications more employable than law degrees, say parents

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More than half of parents (57%) rate young people with plumbing qualifications as "very employable", according to a report by City & Guilds and Edge Foundation.

The survey of more than 3,500 parents suggests only 53% rate a law degree as highly. Slightly fewer (52%) rate those with science degrees as highly employable, while for English the figure is as low as 22%.

The figures are part of a general increase in appreciation for vocational qualifications. Almost three-quarters (72%) of parents now see vocational qualifications as just as helpful as university degrees when looking to kick-start careers.

However, more parents still want their children to go to university rather than complete apprenticeships. More than one-third (37%) hope their child will complete a university degree, compared to just 16% for apprenticeships.

City & Guilds Group chief executive Chris Jones said that despite research consistently showing that parents have the most influence on young people's career choices, they still "just don't know enough" about the range of career options available.

"That’s why it’s not surprising that so many of them want their children to go to university," he added. "For too long, it was portrayed as the best and only route to success.

“Young people need the opportunity to explore their options and discover exactly what route is right for them, whether it’s an apprenticeship, going straight into employment or pursuing a degree."

Edge Foundation CEO Jan Hodges called the findings "very encouraging" for suggesting parents are finally appreciating the links between vocational qualifications and employment.