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Research released by Avado finds that both UK parents and managers believe apprenticeships are the best routes to a good career.

In a survey of a thousand people, 68 % of parents said they believed apprenticeships were a good career option. In a separate survey of managers, 71 % expressed their belief in the value of non-traditional qualifications such as apprenticeships. In contrast, only 32 % of managers and 24 % of parents believed a university degree to be the most valuable asset when entering the workforce.

“Apprenticeships provide businesses with a wealth of benefits including increased productivity, improved staff retention and a more diverse and creative workforce,” said Mark Creighton, CEO of Avado.

“It’s great to see that parents and managers see the value of apprenticeships and that traditional education is not the only route to a successful career”.

The research suggests that a university degree is far from guaranteed to be the first quality managers are looking from in a new employee. The qualities rated highest by respondents were motivation (62%) and enthusiasm (59%), with intellectual acumen coming in at fourth (44%). Similar research conducted in 2017 found that enthusiasm was ranked highest, which suggests that managers are now more interested in staff who show drive and ambition.

One in four of the parents surveyed said their child had considered an apprenticeship—but the research suggests schools are falling short in providing advice on apprenticeships or other work experience options. 51 % of those surveyed said their child had not been advised on apprenticeships (compared to 46 % who received no guidance on university placements). 28 % received no careers advice or support at all.

Research conducted in 2017 was very similar, which suggests that despite millions of pounds of government investment there appears to be no increase in awareness of alternative education routes, like apprenticeships. There were significant regional variations in this picture, however, with London scoring significantly above average on all forms of career support, whilst the South West showed a preference for apprenticeships over university advice.

Of the parents who were interviewed, one in four stated that their child had considered an apprenticeship, but that advice and support from schools wasn’t sufficient enough. So much so that 51% said that their child had not been advised on apprenticeships with 28% claiming they had received no careers advice or support at all.

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