The law now states that children must stay in some form of education or training until their 18th birthday, but many are unaware of the options available to them once they leave secondary school.
Writing in The Telegraph, Tiana Locker, youth engagement officer at City & Guilds, said that she often hears teens ask what happens after they leave school, what they should do next and what are their options.
She believes parents, as well as schools, can play a role in guiding their children into the right kind of training or further education course, with a recent study from City & Guilds revealing that two-thirds of mums and dads are eager to do this.
Ms Locker claims that parents feel that they understand less about apprenticeships than they do about the conventional degree route, so she has offered some advice to those wishing to help their child make an informed decision about their future.
She wrote: “A parent can never know the ins and outs of every single educational or career path, but if your child expresses an interest in a certain area, look into it. It’ll help you feel more comfortable with their choice, and put you in a better position to offer guidance.”
For those asking themselves if their child should take an apprenticeship, Ms Locker says it depends on how they learn and what their career aspirations are. This type of training allows individuals to learn on the job, while earning a salary, and gain an employer-recognised qualification.
“A common misconception is that apprenticeships are only available in more manual careers, such as plumbing or construction. However, apprenticeships are available across a range of industries, such as business, law and marketing,” she wrote.
According to the City & Guilds study, the top industries parents want their children to work in are computers/IT, law/legal services and engineering – all of which are accessible through an apprenticeship.
The youth engagement officer suggests that any parents wishing to expand their knowledge about specific industries should visit the The Skills Show, which takes place at the NEC Birmingham between November 13th and 15th.
As young people are under immense pressure, Ms Locker believes parents need to support their children while they figure out what they want to do and help show them what steps they need to get on their chosen career path.