Apprenticeship v university: PM urged to offer better careers advice

Iain Stewart MP speaking in PMQs last week
Iain Stewart MP speaking in PMQs last week

A “cultural shift” is needed to encourage students to choose an apprenticeship over university, says Iain Stewart MP.

This week he called on the Prime Minister to highlight the importance of careers advice to young people.

The MK South MP’s plea came just weeks before the first ever national apprenticeship show is set to bring young people from around the country to Milton Keynes.

In Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Mr Stewart asked: “Next month Milton Keynes will be hosting the first National Apprenticeship Show.

“We have a strong record in expanding apprenticeships but would the PM not agree that a cultural shift is still needed to demonstrate that high level apprenticeships are an equally valid option for students as traditional university places?”

In response PM David Cameron said: “I think my honourable friend is absolutely right.

“The careers advice we need to give young people is that there is a choice for every school leaver; we hope either a University place because we have uncapped University Places, or an apprenticeship because we are funding 3 million of them in this parliament, and we need to go on to explain that to become an apprentice doesn’t rule out doing a degree level qualification later on during your apprenticeship. The option of earning and learning is stronger in Britain today than it has ever been before.”

The National Apprenticeship Show is taking place at Arena MK on 14-15 March 2016 and will bring together employers, colleges and providers with those wanting to find out more about what apprenticeships can offer.

More than 100 exhibitors will are expected to be there making it possibly the largest event taking place in National Apprenticeship Week 2016.