Almost two thirds (63%) of parents do not have a good enough understanding of apprenticeships to explain them to their child, according to new research from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

Drawing from the responses of more than 1,000 Netmums members, the study finds parents to be out of touch with a variety of issues relating to apprenticeships, including their financial benefits, the employability prospects they present and the range of professions that host them.

Four out of five (81%) parents are unaware that a Higher Apprenticeship is a university-level qualification, suggesting that attitudes are not keeping in line with the Government’s notion of apprenticeships as the new norm.

Asked to name the most important factors to young people securing jobs, the majority of parents cited good school exam results (56%) and work experience (54%). Despite providing both workplace experience and a professional qualification, Higher Apprenticeships were ranked eighth of nine survey options, behind extracurricular activities or volunteering (25%) and holiday jobs (28%).

Jane Scott Paul OBE, Chief Executive of AAT, commented on the findings: ‘We have a huge youth unemployment problem – vocational education and higher apprenticeships can address this issue and more importantly address the skill shortage. Both young people and parents deserve better careers advice and I urge employers to open up their recruitment processes and to look beyond degrees.’

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