Last updated: 15.08.14

Apprenticeships on the rise

Almost half of young people leaving school are now considering taking an apprenticeship.

According to an independent poll commissioned by energy company British Gas, some 41 per cent of youngsters have thought about an apprenticeship as one of their options when leaving school.

Close to half of respondents (45 per cent) who said they had considered apprenticeships stated that the main reason was that it offers the chance to earn money and work while they are still learning.

Skills minister Nick Boles stated that young people are right to consider apprenticeships among their top options when they leave school.

He said: "With over 1.8 million starts since 2010, and our reforms to improve their rigour and quality, apprenticeships are now a respected and rewarding route into the world of work."

One in ten (11 per cent) of the respondents said they were thinking about apprenticeships as they wanted to avoid racking up a large amount of student debt by going to study at university. Meanwhile, close to a fifth (18 per cent) said they thinking signing up to become an apprentice would provide a boost to their job prospects in the future.

Susan Hooper, managing director at British Gas Residential Services, stated that the results of the poll show how far vocational training has come in recent years.

She added: "Young people and their parents increasingly understand the value of gaining work-based training and getting paid while you learn. Apprenticeships are becoming a more attractive option, and the volume of applications we receive for British Gas apprenticeship schemes shows this clearly."

Nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of 15-19 year-olds who said they are planning to go to university stated in the poll that they had also discussed securing a place on an apprenticeship with their teachers.

Many apprenticeships include e-learning, giving young people the chance to learn at their own pace while they also earn on the job and pick up valuable experience. The rise in e-learning technology has been one of the key reasons behind the rise in apprenticeships in recent years.