Apprenticeships benefit from 'changing attitude'

5 March 2018, 07:11


Record numbers of young people taking up apprenticeships in Scotland have benefited from a "changing attitude", according to a financial adviser.

Data from Skills Development Scotland reveals the number of Modern Apprenticeship starts in 2016/17 hit a record 26,262 - beating the 26,000 national target.

Financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP has said the study reveals a more positive perception of the traineeships.

Andrew Howie, managing partner in Scotland, said: "This changing attitude represents an evolution in the expectations of young people and parents when it comes to learning beyond school.

"Add in rising living costs and it becomes clear why those looking at higher education options are increasingly seeing apprenticeships and other earn as you learn routes, as a positive route in to a successful career.

"In our blueprint for the UK, Shaping a Vibrant Economy, we suggested that there is a need to incentivise collaboration between employers and education providers.

"This includes creating a new school performance measure for every pupil to have at least one interaction with an employer every year, and encouraging universities and business schools to offer graduate level apprenticeships."

The report surveyed 1,000 people aged between 16 and 25 as well as 1,000 parents of under-18s.

It found 70% of young people and 79% of parents think that apprenticeships offer good career prospects, with 42% of young people believing they have the same value as a university degree.

Almost half of surveyed parents said they think a university degree delivers less value than it used to, while two thirds of young people said they think university is not necessary to get a well-paid job.

The report also investigated the attitudes of 500 UK employers and showed a similarly positive sentiment about hiring apprentices.

Half of the employers surveyed said they plan to recruit more apprentices than they do now in the next five years.