Pandemic Prompts Youths To Consider Apprenticeships

A survey commissioned by housebuilder Redrow has revealed that over a third of 16 to 21-year-olds are now less likely to choose a university education than they were before the pandemic began, and 42 per cent of young people are now more likely to consider on the job learning, such as an apprenticeship.

The Construction Index reports that Redrow runs an annual survey on the attitudes towards apprenticeships and careers in construction, and the results from this year’s survey have proved to be particularly interesting.

According to the survey, 37 per cent of young people surveyed claim that the pandemic has changed their likelihood of choosing a university in the future, making it much less likely.

Redrow’s survey is now in its fifth year, and analyses the barriers to entry-level recruitment into the construction and house building industry. The resulting report from the survey includes Redrow’s recommendations to overcome the barriers.

The survey took in the opinions of 2,000 parents and young people, as well as more than 100 of its own apprentices, then benchmarking the findings against previous surveys.

In 2021, Redrow also investigated what impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on plans to venture into further education.

The results showed that 36 per cent of young people quizzed expressed concerns about job prospects since the onset of the pandemic, and that career routes that combine both work and education now had a greater appeal.

42 per cent of respondents said they are now more likely to seek on the job learning, such as an apprenticeship. This was significantly higher in London, where 57 per cent of respondents said they were more likely to pursue on the job learning.

Redrow says this changing landscape makes it a good time to bring in new ways to attract young people into apprenticeships.

With students spending far less time in school over the past year, careers advice has suffered. The proportion of young adults who have had information on apprenticeships outlined to them via school resources dropped from 63 per cent in 2018 to 57 per cent in 2021, reaching a four-year low.

At the same time, the percentage who say their advice was entirely not useful, or non-existent, has increased to a five-year high.

Redrow reports that its own apprentices found out about the roles at Redrow via friends or family (44 per cent), up from 38 per cent last year. Also, 67 per cent stated that they believe that schools do not promote apprenticeships in the same way they do other educational routes.

There are still the hurdles of gender stereotypes when it comes to encouraging and informing young people on careers in construction. The study showed that only 33 per cent of female respondents had discussed construction careers at school compared to 46 per cent of young males.

The parents’ views of apprenticeships are more promising, with 69 per cent saying they have discussed apprenticeship prospects with their child. This is an increase from 65 per cent in 2017.

If you’re looking for apprenticeship providers in the North West, talk to us today.