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Iceni Magazine | July 7, 2020

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More than 1 in 5 Norwich school leavers think apprenticeships are for academic underachievers

More than 1 in 5 Norwich school leavers think apprenticeships are for academic underachievers

Common myths on apprenticeships including that they are for those who ‘can’t afford’ to go to University still exist.

As school leavers in Norwich collect their A-Level results, it seems misconceptions remain regarding one of the most dynamic post-school career options available, apprenticeships.

New research from Arch Apprentices has suggested that ‘negative perceptions’ apprenticeships are still rife among Britain’s exam-students. Specifically among females, the supposed lack of academic credibility is still a worry, despite apprenticeships allowing many avenues for adding to qualifications and credentials.

Similarly, among both male and female leavers, there is a belief that apprenticeships are only for manual jobs, such as brick-layers, electricians and plumbers. However, apprenticeship schemes have come a long way since with careers in media disciplines, IT and management among a wealth of opportunities currently on offer.

Perhaps most surprising is the idea that apprenticeships are only for those who cannot afford to go to university, suggesting a lack of progression in talking to younger people about anything other than university being available as their next career step post A-Levels.

In Norwich, 39% of school leavers also admitted they would have some reservations about choosing an apprenticeship over University based on worries about being negatively viewed from an academic perspective.  Further concerns also included not being unable to secure a top job (46%), not making their parents proud (11%5) and employers viewing it as the ‘easier option’ to University (35%)

“Over the past 10 years, the change that apprenticeships have gone under has been drastic and incredibly exciting. From being traditionally associated with certain trades to now being at the heart of some of the UK’s largest media, digital and technology businesses, apprenticeships are no longer the second option for school leavers. For some companies, it’s the exclusive path for schools leavers to access their entry-level positions. At Arch, we like to think we’ve been at the forefront of the change, with our digital-first approach to delivering apprenticeships. Our learners aren’t stuck in a classroom, focusing on just the theory, they are in real jobs, with real pay and are putting into practice all of their learning via our multi-touch learning tools and techniques.  They have proven to be an invaluable asset for the companies they work for.” Jason Moss, CEO Arch Apprentices


The research for Arch Apprentices was carried out online by Opinion Matters between 19/07/2018 and 25/07/2018 amongst a panel resulting in 1,023 who have just sat (or within the last two years) their A-Level exams respondents. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Opinion Matters is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act (1998).

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