. 11 percent of parents believe that their children are “too clever for an apprenticeship or school leaver programme”

. 80.8 percent of students go to their parents instead of teachers for help making career decisions

. 45 percent of students mentioned pressure from parents, guardians and peers as key reasons for not exploring alternatives to university


There is a significant knowledge gap among parents, teachers and guardians when it comes to school leaver programmes and apprenticeships, according to the 2015 School & College Leaver annual research report, conducted by AllAboutResearch.co.uk and AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk and released today (Thursday).

Major findings of the report include that parents are the greatest influence on students’ career decisions, yet only 40 percent of parents understand the meaning of a Higher Apprenticeship. Regarding teachers, 96.5 percent are aware of university as an option for school and college leavers, but an overwhelming 81.7 percent wish they knew more about non-university options.

78.3 percent of employers believe the volume of school and college leaver recruits will outnumber the volume of graduate recruits within the next five years, with 65.2 percent believe that this will occur in three years.

Despite continuing pressure to apply to university, only 54.33 percent of students interviewed said that they are only considering traditional university routes, which implies a significant number are considering other options.

Over 10,000 school and college students across the UK were surveyed, as well as over 1,000 parents, 500 teachers, 280 careers advisors, and 27 key employers offering graduate and school leaver programmes.

The results cover a wide range of topics: employee brand awareness, careers guidance practice, subject teacher knowledge of school leaver options, and how school college students and their parents make decisions, habits and form opinions.

With apprenticeships contributing a staggering £34 billion to the UK economy and the government’s promise of three million schemes this year, the graduate recruitment market is set to decrease rapidly within the next five years. It is therefore time that everyone was better informed about alternatives to university.


The 2015 Apprentices and School Leavers Conference, for which HRreview is the official media partner, will be held in Canary Wharf, London in December. To find out more and book a delegate place, click on the icon above.

AllAboutSchoolLeavers also compared and utilised data collected in 2014 – when over 1,500 students, 200 parents and 175 careers advisers were surveyed – with the new data, to see how the named groups could better engage with students and teachers.

The number of young people starting apprenticeships has increased consistently since 2008 and this is a trend that is set to continue.  According to statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, there were 126,400 more Advanced Apprenticeship starters in 2013 and a 17 percent decline of undergraduate starters the same year.

Jack Denton, co-founder of AllAboutSchoolLeavers, said: “As fewer people go to university and begin to take on non-university routes, employers must think about balancing the size of their graduate and school leaver intakes. The supply of vacancies must match the changing demands of the market.”