Scottish parents split on graduate career success

Scottish parents are increasingly recognising that apprenticeships can give their children the chance of embarking on a successful career although worries about low wages remain, according to new research from Prudential.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 3rd October 2016, 9:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:18 pm
Despite the wide range of apprenticeship opportunities on offer, worries about pay remain as three out of four parents believe apprentices are poorly paid.
Despite the wide range of apprenticeship opportunities on offer, worries about pay remain as three out of four parents believe apprentices are poorly paid.

Its study among parents of pupils who completed high school-level exams across Scotland this summer shows that 49 per cent disagree that graduates are more likely to achieve faster career success than apprentices, and just a fifth (21 per cent) say apprenticeships do not offer the best career path.

The Prudential study underlines how attitudes are changing – the survey also shows that 63 per cent of parents disagree that apprenticeships are best suited to those considered to be non-academic.

However, worries about low wages remain and three out of four (74 per cent) parents think apprenticeship roles are poorly paid while 35 per cent believe that apprenticeship opportunities are often in lower-skilled and lower-paid industries.

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Neither of these issues is necessarily the case – Government data shows that wages for apprentices start at £3.30 an hour for under 19s or those in the first year of an apprenticeship, and rise in line with age2. But 92 per cent of employers are willing to pay more than the typical apprenticeship wage, provided they’re matched with the right candidate3. Apprenticeships4 are available in 1,500 different job roles across more than 170 industries, from advertising to youth work and from environmental engineering to legal work.

Simon Moffatt, human resources director at Prudential’s insurance business in the UK, said: “There are a wide range of pathways into the working world and parents are increasingly recognising that university is not the only route to career success after school.

“Apprenticeships offer an excellent route into the workplace and should not be overlooked, especially as university education becomes more expensive.

“Apprenticeships give real world experience and part of the attraction is gaining excellent on-the-job training with the potential for a secure job and career progression. Many apprentices realise that the prospect of good longer-term employment opportunities can offset the potentially lower initial pay.”

The Prudential apprenticeship scheme pays the National Living Wage and offers a high quality training programme, allowing apprentices to achieve a recognised vocational qualification as well as all-important work-based skills and experience.

The insurer’s scheme offers placements in a wide range of areas in the company, including IT, HR, customer services, operations, sales support, distribution, financial planning, communications and marketing. Positions are available in Prudential’s offices in Stirling, London and Reading.

To date, Prudential has recruited over 175 young people into its high quality, work-based training programme, which is based on a 12-month contract. Over the last two years around two-thirds of Prudential’s apprentices have been retained by the company in ongoing roles.