The awareness of young people to the opportunities presented by apprenticeships is still low, with their parents equally unaware of what they can offer.
A recent survey of more than 1,000 parents found that only one in five had any knowledge of degree apprenticeships, and this fell to one in 10 in lower socio-economic groups.
The truth is that many of the new higher level or degree apprenticeship programmes in many of the professional disciplines offer students paid roles while they work and learn, with many of them reaching a more senior job role than their university counterparts. The commitment by the employer means the investment is also covered by the Apprenticeship Levy fees for tuition.
There needs to be increased information for parents, teachers and careers advisors throughout the process in driving these programmes forward in key areas including business, technology, engineering, hospitality and healthcare.
There is a danger in the stigma still attached to apprenticeships of lower pay, fewer prospects and a second-class qualification. None of this is now the case.
In our experience, apprenticeships give young people an earlier taste of reality, pave a career path and provide a structure for growth earlier rather than later.
The higher education profession also has a duty to raise the awareness of apprenticeships and their benefits and as fees have risen this is surely an option worthy of consideration rather than a second-thought because of financial pressures.