More of us would rather our children did an apprenticeship than a degree

More parents in the UK want to see their child undertake an apprenticeship than a university degree, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders.

To mark National Apprenticeship Week in England and Wales, which ran from March 4 to 8, the FMB surveyed 2,000 adults and the findings were as follows:

25% of us would rather our children undertook an apprenticeship

24% of us would rather our children studied for a university degree

50% of us have no preference

The FMB also asked how they felt about building firms that trained apprentices, and found that:

60% would have a more positive image of a construction firm knowing that it trains apprentice

41% would be more likely to hire a building firm that trains apprentices as opposed to one that does not

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “We’re finally seeing the shift in attitudes with more people understanding the value of undertaking a vocational apprenticeship rather than a university degree.

“For too long, apprenticeships were looked down on and seen as the alternative route if children weren’t bright enough to follow the more academic route.

“With university fees in England going through the roof, and with apprenticeships offering an ‘earn-while-you-learn’ route to a meaningful job, it’s no wonder that the penny has finally dropped.

“This research signals that the majority of children won’t be suffering undue pressure from their parents or teachers to attend university unless it really is right for them. Not everyone is academic and even for our very brightest students, on-the-job-learning can be an appealing way to prepare for the world of work.”

Now that the general public is changing its attitude towards apprenticeships, Brian said the construction industry must step up and make more apprenticeship places available to young people.

“Our research shows that people like companies that train apprentices to the extent that more than 40% of clients would hire the building firm that trains apprentices as opposed to the one that doesn’t,” he said.