Popularity of vocational training rises as degree outlay rockets
The number of 14 - to 19-year olds starting higher level vocational training has more than doubled in the last year, new research finds.
With A Level results expected next week, new figures from City & Guilds, a vocational education organisation, reveal that the popularity of vocational qualifications has risen due to the increase in university tuition fees.
Further statistics show that savvy learners are responding to systematic changes in education, training and employment and are exploring high-quality, practical and cost-effective routes into work. The research is supported by data which examines beliefs that young people hold about their future career prospects. Of those surveyed, a staggering 91 per cent believe it's likely that university will be too expensive for many families in the future, indicating that cost is a very important factor in deciding which education route to take.
Russell Pocock, head of learner engagement at City & Guilds, believes that vocational training adds "unrivalled value" to learners and businesses alike.
He said: "The recent news that the majority of young people will have to pay £9,000 annual tuition fees to go to university is making young people rethink their routes into employment, which we believe is a positive thing for young people, businesses and the wider economy.
"The employers that we work with tell us time and time again that the most valuable asset they're looking for in new starters is experience. This is something that can only be gained by learning on the job - and this is where vocational training adds unrivalled value to learners and businesses alike.
"Building a workforce of young people with relevant skills for employment will be crucial if we are to boost youth employment."
The figures were backed by online service providers, Notgoingtouni.co.uk, who agreed that the stats were a sign of the increased value employers are placing on work-based learning.
Spencer Mehlman, managing director of Notgoingtouni.co.uk, added: "It's encouraging that more young people are realising the value of vocational training and considering the various paths to career success.
"We want to dispel the myth that having a degree automatically makes you more employable, because it's simply not true today. What most employers are looking for is relevant experience, a good attitude, and skills that can add value to their business from day one."