12/08/2013 09:14 BST | Updated 12/08/2013 11:48 BST

Majority Of Young People Would Choose Apprenticeships Over University

Majority Of Young People Would Choose Apprenticeships Over University

The majority of young people would opt for an apprenticeship as their first choice over going to university, research has revealed.

More than half of university students said they would like to have done an apprenticeship, with the number rising to 56% of young people already employed but who didn't receive training. The news followed a study showing employers ranked apprentices 15% more employable than young people with degrees or other qualifications.

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'Apprenticeships Are For Boys And Less-Able Children'

Skills minister Matthew Hancock urged young people to consider an apprenticeship.

"Apprenticeships are fast becoming the norm for school leavers who want to earn while they learn and forge a successful career," he said. "We are introducing more than 40 new higher apprenticeships this year so young people can now enter areas as diverse as space engineering and law.

"With exam results out soon, I would urge more young people to consider whether an apprenticeship could be the right option for them."

Chris Owen, spokesperson for Pera Training, which helps train apprentices, said: "For too long, a stigma clouded apprenticeships. But now that stigma has gone.

"A degree is no longer the only route that the ambitious and capable can take on their way to fulfilling their potential. Apprenticeships are a wholly viable option, as proven by these figures today.

"The government has done well to in invest in apprenticeships, but more still needs to be done to make sure all young people have the opportunity to take on vocational training.

"Not only is this important for our young people to succeed, but it’s vital if Britain wants to stay ahead in the global race.”