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A-Level students see apprenticeships as university alternative

Seven out of ten employers would recommend apprenticeships as the best route into employment for young people, according to figures issued as students get to grips with their A-Level results and consider their next options.

The Not Going to Uni website, which looks at alternative options for A-Level students who don’t want to study towards a degree, found employers consider becoming an apprentice as one of the key ways to develop a career. A survey earlier this year by ICM Research also revealed that businesses believe people who have taken an apprenticeship are 15 per cent more employable than those with other qualifications, including a degree.

Millions of A-Level students are currently considering their next steps after receiving their results. The National Apprenticeship Service said that around 20,000 vacancies are now available nationwide. They cover construction training, trades and a range of other career options.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: “With more vacancies than ever before, apprenticeships are fast becoming the norm for young people who want to achieve their career goals through an alternative route to university.”

Apprenticeships in construction skills and trades training are available at a variety of different levels, with higher apprenticeships offering qualifications equivalent to a degree while providing paid work alongside study.

The message that apprenticeships provide a valuable alternative to university is one that is recognised by young people. Figures from ICM showed that 54 per cent of those surveyed in England would take this option if it was available to them, and the National Apprenticeship Service reported a record number of enquiries on A-Level results day last year.

The cost of going to university is also playing a part in attracting more young people towards apprenticeships. According the Lloyds TSB student finance report, 58 per cent of university students expect to face debts of at least