From education to employment

Experience over university: Apprenticeships skyrocket among young people 

Recent government data reveals that the number of people starting higher apprenticeships has increased by 10% in the past year as young people navigate away from the traditional university route 

Recent government data uncovers a rise in young people starting apprenticeships, with the number of higher apprentices increasing to over 42,000 in the 2022/23 period compared to 38,000 the previous year. This suggests young people are taking steps to develop their skills further when they leave education as they value training and development more than university degrees. 

A recent survey conducted by UPP Foundation and Higher Education Policy (HEPI) revealed that three-fifths (58%) of students believe that university degrees do not prepare them for the real world and a fifth see it as a waste of time. 

The aftermath of COVID-19 has resulted in ongoing restrictions meaning only 18% of students actually visited university this academic year.

The challenging economic climate post-pandemic has meant young people are looking for additional support when it comes to employment. Apprenticeships provide valuable opportunities for young people seeking employment in a range of industries and levels – apprenticeship achievements have increased by over 16% in the past year.  

Industries with apprenticeship opportunities to explore in 2023 

Apprenticeship training is specifically tailored to ensure the individual develops the skills employers want in their chosen field. With support from experienced staff, apprentices can learn valuable skills on the job whilst working towards industry-recognised qualifications. This leads to faster progression, career development and the opportunity to earn a higher salary.

Beyond earnings, apprenticeships can also play a part in boosting workforce diversity by bringing a wider range of people into organisations at an early stage and supporting their growth within the industry.

The biggest industry sector for apprenticeships is in the health and social work sector, accounting for a quarter of all starts in 2021. Public administration and retail sectors also account for a large proportion of apprenticeships in the UK, providing on-the-job training and career development in these areas.

The education sector is another popular industry for apprenticeships and is particularly beneficial in early years and childcare. The unpredictable environment of a nursery setting is difficult to teach in a classroom, as every child is different and has unique needs. To develop a future of well-trained childcare professionals, early years apprenticeships ensure people have the skills and experience needed in the childcare sector.

Kirsty Bradbury, Training & Development Lead at early years childcare providers Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries, said:

“It’s great to see more young people choosing the apprenticeship route. Working with children and young people is an increasingly popular area for apprentices, offering you hands-on experience and training in a fast-paced industry. 

 “There is a huge opportunity for employers to collaborate more to foster talent and skills by offering apprenticeships. At Monkey Puzzle, we thrive with people looking to start and grow a career in early years, creating resources and webinars that focus on inspiring people about early years careers, to reinforce the vital role of early years professionals as key educators in the wider economy”

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