These are crucially important days for young Britons. Precisely a week ago, all attention was focused on the release of GSCE results. While the excitement may have passed its peak, it is far from over. The big question still faces many school leavers: what to do now? For the growing number of youngsters making an apprenticeship their first choice, the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) delivered some great news on GSCE results day, announcing up to 20,000 vacancies across a wide variety of sectors and positions.
A recent spate of data has confirmed the growing popularity of apprenticeships both among young people and employers. Several months ago, NAS-commissioned research found that apprentices were viewed as 15% more employable compared to peers with other qualifications. Earlier this month, an ICM survey established that 54% of English youngsters would snatch up an apprenticeship opportunity if it presented itself. And the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills published last the findings of its own research last week, announcing that 81% of employers and 72% of apprentices would recommend an apprenticeship.
NAS director Jaine Bolton noted that GCSE results day was a stressful time for many young people, but they now have a steadily growing pool of options to choose from. Increasing awareness about the value of apprenticeships has led to a significant rise in the number of opportunities available, giving young people excellent chances to build a rewarding career. Apprenticeships now cover more than 170 occupations and 1,500 job roles, making this the best time ever for school leavers to consider vocational training, Bolton added.