Mark Creighton, the former Dentsu Aegis Network chief operating officer, will become CEO of AVADO Learning


An Apprenticeship is a career route that has been overlooked for too long. This National Apprenticeship Week we had a fantastic opportunity to re-energise, redefine and relaunch it for students, parents, teachers and applicants. In today’s economy, it has never had more value. Carrying with it a wealth of benefits - apprenticeships are more than a non-traditional route to a career, they’re arguably the defining route of our age.

Many misunderstandings have historically surrounded apprenticeships - from the idea that they are only available in certain industries, to the worry that they are not a reliable route to a successful career.

Research conducted by Avado shows that these misconceptions are finally falling away. In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week this year, Avado surveyed over one thousand UK parents and managers to investigate views on apprenticeships, upskilling and education. The results were overwhelming.

The survey revealed that 68 % of parents said they believed apprenticeships were a good career option, along with 71 % of managers who valued these and other non-traditional qualifications in those they employ. Meanwhile, a massive 68 % of managers and 76 % of parents believe a university degree is not vital to employability. This proves that there has been a fundamental change in mindsets where it comes to the viability of the apprenticeship journey.

One in four parents surveyed said their child had considered an apprenticeship - but there’s still work to do; 51 % of those surveyed told us their child’s school didn’t offer advice on apprenticeships (compared to 46% who were not advised on university placements). This shows no improvement in similar research we conducted in 2017, despite millions of pounds of government investment in informing schools across the country.

It appears that whilst parents, students, and employers are aware of the value of apprenticeships, schools are lagging. Without the proper education around all the options available, young people cannot hope to make informed choices about their futures, and we will continue to see a shortfall in apprentices - which, as this research shows, is not what employers and the UK economy need.

The research also highlights the importance of apprenticeships for improving diversity in UK businesses - 44 % of UK managers felt they were the most effective way to improve diversity in their organisation, ahead of either recruitment strategies or updated policies. Universities, especially our most prestigious institutions, have struggled to bring in students from diverse backgrounds - perhaps in part due to the enormous cost of fees.

Apprenticeships, which offer the opportunity to be paid while you learn, have been proven time and time again to appeal to those from a wider range of backgrounds, thus improving diversity at all levels of a business. For disadvantaged young people, an increase in funding and understanding can only be a good thing - but schools must first change the way they talk to their students about careers and further education.

With this support from schools, plus the increasing enthusiasm from parents and managers, apprenticeships could be the definitive change to the working world this year. Staff retention amongst businesses who offer apprenticeships is higher, as these programmes often instil a great sense of loyalty in those they train.

All these issues then feed into the larger UK productivity crisis, which apprenticeships could also go a long way to resolving. It will take a great deal more work and willpower in our educational establishments, but by investing in non-traditional educational routes, I am convinced we can resolve many of the most pressing issues facing young people and the UK economy today.

Mark Creighton, CEO, AVADO Learning

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Sharon Walpole added a new event yesterday

CareermapLive: An Introduction to WorldSkills UK...

During this live webinar, you'll have the opportunity to learn about our skills competition development programme which provides colleges,...

  • Wednesday, 28 April 2021 03:30 PM
  • Online Event, UK

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page