Graeme Paton. More teenagers should be encouraged to take work-based apprenticeships as an alternative to university, a major Government review has suggested.
 Standards of apprenticeships should be raised to stop them being seen as “second class” in relation to a conventional three-year degree, it is recommended.
The review – led by entrepreneur Doug Richard – said the previous Government’s target to push half of school leavers into university had resulted in an “unthinking collective belief” that a degree “offers an indication of greater capability which it does not, in fact, confer”.
He said that a successful overhaul of the system should be made to enable 18-year-olds to turn down “a place at Oxbridge to take up an apprenticeship if that is the right path for them”.
The study – jointly commissioned by the Department for Education and Department for Business – recommended the introduction of new standards for each industry to clearly define the goals of an apprenticeship programme. Read more...