Apprenticeships can be route to the top

Youngsters should consider apprenticeships, new research suggests
Youngsters should consider apprenticeships, new research suggests

Hundreds of young Wiganers could be missing out on high-flying careers by dismissing apprenticeships, according to new research.

Those considering their training options believe apprentice courses may not set them up for a leadership position, it adds.

That is according to new research by Centrica, owner of British Gas, to mark today’s launch of National Apprenticeship Week.

Six in 10 people in Greater Manchester polled in the independent national survey say they don’t view apprenticeships as the best starting point to reaching a senior position in their career. More than two-fifths believe university is the best start they can get.

When asked about the most important aspects of a job at the start of a career, people in Greater Manchester say “good earning potential” and “opportunities for progression to a senior role”.

However, almost three quarters believe that only a degree would allow them to achieve these things.

Despite high quality apprenticeships on offer from employers, such as Centrica, which provide a structured learning experience with industry qualifications built-in, the majority of people surveyed in Manchester had not considered an apprenticeship as a training option when they left school. A fifth said they had not considered the option because it would not have enabled them to get the job of their choice.

And it isn’t just the views of those considering apprenticeships that are affecting uptake; the research found parents’ views of the training to be hugely influential.

More than six in 10 parents in Greater Manchester say they would be proud of their children if they were accepted onto a university course, compared to 37 per cent who would feel the same if their child was accepted onto an apprenticeship scheme.

Craig Heaney, Head of Learning and Development at Centrica, said: “It’s worrying that future leaders in Greater Manchester are limiting their options and not considering an apprenticeship as a route into an exciting and high-flying career. We have several examples of people who started their career as a British Gas apprentice and now hold a leadership position.”