Exclusive ECA / JTL / Joint Industry Board poll comes as students find out GCSE results

Less than 1 in 12 students (8 per cent) aged 15 to 18 in school or college in 2016/2017 are being advised to seek a work-based apprenticeship afterwards, according to new YouGov survey findings commissioned by the ECA, JTL, and the Joint Industry Board.

In contrast, some 85 per cent of students are instead encouraged to go into further or higher education, such as university study, after finishing at school or college. Just 3 per cent were advised to seek a job.

In addition, over one-quarter of students (28 per cent) said they had never even been spoken to about work-based apprenticeships by their school or college.

The findings come as students across the UK today (24 August) find out their GCSE results, with many soon to make decisions about their future careers path.

Alex Meikle, Director of Employment and Skills at leading electrotechnical and engineering services trade association the ECA, commented:

“These findings show that too many young people are effectively being led up the garden path by careers advice in schools, which is significantly out of step with the needs of industry and future employers

“There is a growing recognition of the value of undertaking apprenticeships, particularly engineering, and the electrotechnical industry will be looking to undertake further work with schools and colleges to encourage greater takeup among students.”

Jon Graham, Chief Executive of leading apprenticeship training organisation JTL, said:

“There are some fantastic opportunities out there for young people to start an apprenticeship and embark on a career in a highly skilled and well paid job. However schools need to do more to highlight the benefits of apprenticeships, and we look forward to working with them on this agenda.”

Steve Brawley, Chief Executive of the Joint Industry Board (JIB), commented:

“An electrical apprenticeship is a rigorous and academically demanding training programme which lasts longer than a first degree, but allows the apprentice to secure skills which are in high demand and to earn while they learn without accruing any student debt.”

Just 1 in 14 (7 per cent) students were ever encouraged to consider finding a job in a skilled trade. This compares to 3 in 10 being encouraged into roles within medicine such as a doctor (31 per cent), education such as a teacher (31 per cent) and legal / finance (30 per cent). 36 per cent were however advised to consider careers in engineering.

About the survey: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1,001 children aged 15 to 18 (of which 966 of them went to school or college in 2016/ 2017). Fieldwork was undertaken between 11th - 22nd August 2017.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB children (aged between 15 and 18).

About the ECA and its members: The ECA is the UK’s largest trade association representing electrical, electrotechnical and other engineering contractors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland at regional, national and European level. ECA member-companies are rigorously assessed before membership is approved.

Member firms have a combined turnover in excess of £6 billion annually. Member firms carry out design, installation, inspection, testing, maintenance and monitoring activity across the domestic and commercial sectors. This ranges from power and lighting to data communications, to energy efficiency and renewables, as well as the design and installation of cutting-edge building control technologies.

The ECA’s near 3,000 members range from SME electrical firms to nationwide engineering contractors and building services firms that employ thousands of professionals on major UK projects. ECA members also support over 5,000 apprentices annually.

About JTL: In 1990, the Electrical Contractors’ Association and the Union Unite formed JTL – a new organisation to manage training in the electrical sector. Ten years later, they became a charity offering a number of services, which include Advanced Apprenticeships, Training Courses and NVQ Assessments, within the building services sector.

They now work with approximately 3,000 businesses and train more apprentices than anyone else in the building services engineering sector. At the moment, they support around 6,000 young people in four apprenticeship disciplines: Electrical, Plumbing, Heating and ventilating, and Engineering maintenance

They are one of the top three work-based learning providers in England and Wales.

JTL apprentices achieve more – because they only take on the best. That’s one in ten of the people who apply. Each year, 80% of those get their qualifications. Compare that to 60% nationally for work-based learning. Success also comes from their training officers, who help their apprentices from day one.

JTL has evolved to also provide a growing choice of professional development training for those already working within the industries.

 

About the JIB: The JIB is an impartial organisation that sets the standards for employment, welfare, grading and apprentice training in the electrical contracting industry. Their work is targeted at improving the industry, its status and productivity.

Their membership comprises the UK's largest electrical contractors to the SMEs who make up the bulk of our members. Together, they benefit from a ‘one-stop-shop’ which takes care of employment matters, a comprehensive health and benefits scheme, and access to markets other contractors cannot reach.

In setting the standards for training, competence and terms and conditions of employment, the JIB has helped its members to maintain stability in the workplace and offer employment conditions that attract, train and motivate the best operatives.

As a result, JIB membership benefits the company and the employees, and assures clients that they are engaging qualified staff, with technical competence and customer service that only a motivated workforce can provide.

 

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