Featured Voices

Clare Marchant

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

More than three quarters (78%) of students who are getting their results next week, but do not plan to immediately start a three year full-time undergraduate degree, are interested in starting an apprenticeship according to research by UCAS (@ucas_online). 

New research published today by UCAS shows 56% of 17-19 year olds who are receiving their grades next Tuesday (10 August 2021), but are not intending to start a traditional degree course in the autumn, have considered an apprenticeship. A further 22% said their main plan is an apprenticeship (16% higher/degree level, 6% advanced level).

In 2020, 37% of UK 18 year olds progressed from secondary education onto university or college through UCAS.

The new report ‘Where next? Who doesn’t plan to start a full-time undergraduate degree in autumn?’ sheds new light on the thoughts and plans of remainder of young people choosing to take a different route:

  • The main features of apprenticeships are attractive to young people, including choosing options that “earn money” (50%), to continue learning but in “a different way” (43%), and to do something “new and different” (42%).
  • Almost nine in 10 (88%) of students are either “fairly committed” or “very committed” to their chosen route despite being largely unable to visit or attend interviews in person.
  • Of all the survey respondents (of which 38% had a live UCAS application but had not accepted any offers, and 62% who had not applied through UCAS at all), only 11% say they had received enough careers information, advice, and guidance and did not require any more, while 9% state they did not receive any at all*.
  • Just under a fifth of students (18%) who are not planning to go to university or college in autumn feel they do not have many options for next year. 

These latest findings come after UCAS revealed in its Where Next? Improving the journey to becoming an apprentice report in May that over half of students looking to apply to higher education in 2022 said they are interested in apprenticeships, but many find it hard to get the information they need about them.

UCAS is supporting students discover more about their potential futures and make informed decisions about their next steps with personalised, high-quality careers advice, information, and guidance. UCAS’ goal is for its service to be as strong for would-be apprentices as it is for prospective undergraduates, allowing students to explore their options in a truly comparable manner.

UCAS’s apprenticeship platform CareerFinder , which helps students find degree and higher apprenticeships, saw a record 1.35 million searches in the last 12 months, up 37% in 2020. These searches have resulted in 225,000 applications, an increase from 181,000 last year (+24%).

UCAS Chief Executive Clare Marchant said:

“With results day coming up, it is crucial for us to understand the plans and motivations of all students so that we can provide relevant, timely and personalised support covering all their potential pathways. 

“Our latest insight sheds new light on the importance of making sure all students have access to excellent careers information, advice and guidance, especially as there is such strong demand for apprenticeships. It’s clear that many students don’t plan to start a three year degree straight from school, and are beginning to welcome the opportunities of learning in a different way and developing new skills while earning through an apprenticeship.

“There is an opportunity through the government’s Skills and Post-16 Education Bill to ensure young people have the ability to make truly informed decisions about their futures. We are already enriching our services so that students can discover more about their futures, whether their chosen path leads them to an apprenticeship, a higher technical qualification, a part-time, flexible course, full-time undergraduate study or employment.”

Sector Reaction 

paul warner 100x100 fenewsAELP research director Paul Warner said,

“With only 18% of university graduates securing jobs last year, the impact of the pandemic is undoubtedly a factor in young people questioning the perceived wisdom behind some of the traditional choices available.  The good news to go with the increased appetite for apprenticeships identified in the UCAS survey is that apprenticeship vacancies are running at record levels as the economy recovers.

“The issue remains however that too many students in schools and colleges have to find out for themselves about apprenticeships, often online or through friends and family, which is why AELP is backing Lord Baker’s amendment to the Skills Bill to ensure compliance with the Baker Clause.  Ministers promised a summer consultation on the 3-point plan in the Skills for Jobs white paper to enforce the clause and we really need to see that soon.”

John Yarham 100x100John Yarham, Deputy Chief Executive at the Careers & Enterprise Company, the national body for careers education, said:

“More young people are considering apprenticeship opportunities, and this is in no small part due to the phenomenal job that Careers Leaders in schools and colleges are doing week in, week out, supported by a growing number of employers. Young people knowing about apprenticeships means more young people finding their best next step out of education and into the world of work. This means more students going into fulfilling careers and taking the path that’s right for them. Making sure every school and college works with apprenticeship providers and showcases the high quality, high impact opportunities available couldn’t be more important.”

Simon Reichwald, Strategic Lead for Talent at MyKindaFuture, the leading HR company specialising in engaging and onboarding underrepresented talent, comments:

“We are pleased to see more and more young people realising that there is more than one option to consider after school and that it isn’t all about university. However, it is clear that more still needs to be done to better inform all students about the options available to them, including apprenticeships. It is not good enough to simply send out the odd information pack in the post or over email. Students need to be properly engaged and offered the experiences and knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their future. One solution to this is offering virtual work experience programmes. These are a fantastic way to provide students with deeper insights into specific industries, the world of work and what apprenticeships will involve. Plus, they can be launched at scale, overcoming regional barriers and reaching young people who have previously missed out on these types of opportunities.

 “There are solutions to ensuring that all young people leave school feeling empowered to choose the right path for them, but it is critical that the Government, industry, and social enterprises work collaboratively to build on the progress already made to put alternative options, like apprenticeships, in the spotlight.” 

Sponsored Video


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

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 Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 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, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

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