Many businesses and education providers still feel that university is the best option for young people setting out in the world of work. This might explain why more people than ever applied to university in 2016, with UCAS admissions services showing that nearly half a million places have been offered (up by three per cent on last year).
Despite the fact that apprenticeships are beginning to gain more respect in the eyes of employers, we at Barclays are conscious that there are still a number of young people who feel that university may not be the right path for them and are struggling because they are not being provided with enough information on the alternative options available.
Apprenticeships provide many opportunities for people to work, however there is one group that, despite their skillset and knowledge, struggle to find a viable route to employment. The older generation – those over the age of 50 – are often tasked with a much trickier job of securing full-time work, with their age and social circumstances often hindering their efforts.
Last month the government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy, which all employers operating in the UK will have to pay, charged at a rate of 0.5 per cent of companies’ annual pay bill. The government is committed to increasing the quantity and quality of apprenticeships and aims to create an additional 3 million apprenticeship starts in England by 2020; the levy will help to deliver these new apprenticeships and support quality training by putting employers at the centre of the system.
Earlier this month Business in the Community (BITC) and the City & Guilds Group found that confusing job descriptions are a major barrier for young job seekers, preventing them from entering the workforce. This impenetrable ‘business-speak’ is leaving those applying for entry level or first jobs unsure about the suitability of roles and what the job actually involves.