Ahead of National Apprenticeship Week (6th-12th February 2023), new research from premium housebuilder Redrow reveals that more than a quarter (27%) of young adults (16 to 24) in the UK are re-evaluating their finances and career choices because of the cost-of-living crisis, prioritising apprenticeships over higher education.
The survey of 1,000 young adults found that two in five (45%) say the rise in the cost of living has made them want to earn more money in the future, and more than half (54%) think they will earn more than their parents in their lifetime.
Almost half (47%) of those aged 16 to 24 view apprenticeships as opportunities to earn by not incurring student debt, 38% associate them with offering greater financial independence at an earlier age and 30% appreciate having more mentoring and coaching opportunities on the job.
18 year old Ellie Gunney is following in her Mum and sister’s footsteps having joined Redrow’s Cardiff team as an Administration Co-ordinator.
A talented football player, Ellie completed her A levels at St David’s College in Cardiff in June 2022 then took the decision to join Mum Emma and sister Molly at Redrow rather than go to university. Emma first joined Redrow in 2003 and is now Customer Services Manager. Her eldest daughter Molly joined Redrow as an apprentice in 2021 and is now a Sales Consultant.
“I know that I’m really lucky to be given the opportunity to learn while I earn. Mum and Dad have encouraged both Molly and I to have a strong work ethic and I’m keen to progress so I’m enjoying learning new skills and being part of the Redrow team.”
Although apprenticeships are growing in popularity amongst young people, it seems some perceptions are not so encouraging. Two in three (68%) believe that there is a general stigma associated with being an apprentice rather than pursuing higher education.
When asked about the advice they’ve been given, half (49%) of young people surveyed agreed their school hadn’t encouraged apprenticeship routes and two in five (41%) were not told anything about apprenticeships – the highest level since 2017. This is compared to three quarters (72%) who agreed that going to university was more encouraged at school.
However, perceptions may be shifting, especially amongst the older generation as nearly two thirds (63%) of parents with 16- to 21-year-old children agree that encouraging their children to undertake an apprenticeship allows them to earn money while studying and not incurring student debt.
Building A Career
When looking at different industries, two in three young adults believe careers in construction are often overlooked with only a quarter (24%) of young people considering one. When asked what would make the industry more attractive, 60% of young people said long term career opportunities and seeing the impact of their work in real life.
16–24-year-olds believe they’re already getting a head start on their skill set, with 45% saying time spent playing video games such as Minecraft and The Sims enhances the necessary transferable skills for real world jobs like construction.
Karen Jones, HR Director for Redrow said,
“Many young people are reconsidering their career options amidst the cost-of-living crisis and apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity to earn while you learn. Breaking the stigma and offering more information for schools and parents to promote the benefits amongst young people will help promote the skills for life. Redrow will once again be hiring a wide range of apprentices this year – we encourage anyone who is interested and looking for a rewarding start to their career to apply.”
This National Apprenticeship Week Redrow is encouraging more young people to consider a career in construction with nationwide trade positions being released this February. To find out more, please visit: www.redrowplc.co.uk/apprentices