Young people are reluctant to pursue trade apprenticeships, shows study

Research from tradesmen recommendation website RatedPeople.com, which coincides with National Apprenticeship Week, found that three-quarters of tradesmen believe Britain is undergoing a crisis in attracting young people into the trade industry. For two out of five tradesmen, it is because of the country’s focus on academic qualifications.

This view is reinforced by the fact that over half (53 per cent) of young people surveyed by the company admit to dismissing the trade industry in pursuit of a more academic career path. 

Other reasons listed include a reluctance to work evenings and weekends (16 per cent) and the belief that the starting salary of a tradesman apprentice is perceived to be too low (19 per cent).

According to the research, 65 per cent of tradesmen have never taken on an apprentice, with a third stating they can’t afford to hire one (32 per cent) while nearly a fifth (18 per cent) admit they don’t know where to look to find one. However, of those tradesmen that have previously employed an apprentice, nearly seven in ten found it to be a positive experience and would do so again.

“We were surprised to see that there’s little awareness around the Government’s Apprenticeship Scheme and that young people are still convinced that the only career route worth going down is in academia,” says Chris Havemann, CEO of RatedPeople.com.

“Attitudes need to be tackled both at schools and in homes to show the benefits of a career in a trade. Tradesmen are the backbone of the British economy and without new blood to the industry, a whole generation will lack the critical skills needed to build Britain.”

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