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Infographic story

An Increased number of people are choosing apprenticeships over university

In the UK in the last 5 years the number of people starting apprenticeships has risen over the years and apprenticeships are winning more candidates than universities in the UK as the figures of people that are applying and enrolling to study a course at university remains stable.

The number of people starting apprenticeships has increased more than the numbers of people attending university in the UK. Even though in the years 2017/18 the amount of people starting apprenticeships fell drastically by around 90,000, the number of people starting apprenticeships was still higher than people going to university. This could be because people’s perceptions on apprenticeships are changing and they are seeing that apprenticeships success numbers are getting higher, in recent statistics produced there have been 276,200 apprenticeship achievements.

University numbers in recent years haven’t changed so much as they have stayed in the 500,000 mark but are slowly decreasing every academic year this can be due to many reasons.

The Savethestudent organisation had conducted a survey on university students to help other students on whether they wanted to attend university, the survey results showed that many students worry about finance and balancing university life as 78% worry about making ends meet, 61% who get a maintenance loan say it’s not enough to live off also 2 out of 3 students had saved money before just to go to university instead of saving they could’ve looked at other opportunities. The survey results can make other people that are looking to study at university in the UK get put off as a student life can be too stressful and people will look at choosing other pathways to get into their desired future job.

Science and maths apprenticeships have the lowest numbers of apprentices joining with around 780 apprentices, even though this number is very low there is not a lot of opportunities for science and maths apprenticeships. For example, a doctor would need to study at university and it’s a longer route to become a qualified doctor and can take many years.

In the years 2017/18 Business administration and law had the most competition due to becoming the most popular subject area in university, in the UK 1 in 7 students study business administration and law according to HESA. The number of apprentices completing an apprenticeship in this subject area is evidently higher with 215,530 apprentices joining in the years 2017 and 18.

The courses in both university and apprenticeships seem to be very similar but there are other factors on why numbers of people especially young people are not planning on studying at university which can be due to finance related issues, mental health and other underlying factors.

YouGov state that 1 in 4 students suffer from mental health problems. A TFL apprentice says, “mental health is a massive issue particularly for young people like me, I’m a dropout of uni because of stress with finance, I’m now doing an apprenticeship which I don’t have to pay for”. (Sadie Stuart)