Apprentices: Vocational Guidance

Department for Education written question – answered at on 24 November 2023.

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Photo of The Bishop of Derby The Bishop of Derby Bishop

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role of careers advice in increasing the number of apprenticeships taken on.

Photo of Baroness Barran Baroness Barran The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

There is encouraging evidence that careers advice is increasing young people’s awareness of apprenticeships and other technical options. In the 2022/23 academic year, 92% of schools reported that most students had information about the full range of apprenticeships. 86% of schools reported that most students had meaningful encounters with further education colleges. In a 2021/22 survey of 35,000 young people, responses show that awareness of apprenticeships doubles from 39% in year 7 to 81% by year 11.

There is some evidence that increased awareness can, in turn, lead to higher take-up of apprenticeships. In 2021/22, analysis found that uptake of apprenticeships was 16% higher in the schools that provided information on apprenticeships to most or all of their students compared with the schools that provided information to a small minority.

The government has introduced a range of measures that are driving this increased awareness of apprenticeships and technical options and giving them parity of prestige with academic routes.

On 1 January 2023, the strengthened provider access legislation came into force which specifies that schools must provide at least six opportunities for providers of technical education or apprenticeships to speak to all pupils, during school years 8-13. In addition, the department actively promotes apprenticeships and T Levels in schools and colleges through the Apprenticeships Support and Knowledge Programme (ASK). The programme has reached over 3 million students in the past eight years, as well as over 230,000 parents and 100,000 teachers.

For post-18 options, the department has partnered with the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), which has expanded their service so that young people can see more personalised options, including apprenticeships. From 2024, students will be able to apply for apprenticeships alongside degrees on UCAS, developing a one-stop-shop for young people to find the right option for them.

The department is also promoting ‘Career Starter Apprenticeships’ suitable for young people looking for their first role after leaving full-time education. Get the Jump, a digital campaign provided by the National Careers Service, brings together all the different education and training pathways open to young people at post-16 and post-18. The campaign helps to support informed choice.

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