Industry News

Pupils still steered towards university two years on from Baker Clause

According to a recent YouGov survey, only 11% of 15-18-year olds are likely to be encouraged towards apprenticeships.

The survey, commissioned by training provider JTL ahead of National Apprenticeship Week (3 – 9 February), reveals that there has only been a 3% increase since its last survey in 2017, where just 8% of 15-18-year olds had been encouraged towards apprenticeships, compared to 11% this year (2019).

Two years on from the introduction of the Baker Clause, results suggest there is still a belief amongst school children that the most likely recommendation from their school or college will be to follow a university route (73%). Results also indicate that only 10% of 15-18-year olds are very content with the amount of technical job support or practical skills such as engineering or plumbing they receive in lessons. Even more telling is only 5% of females surveyed felt they had been encouraged to become a skilled tradesperson compared to 14% of males.

Jon Graham, Chief Executive of JTL, said: “These results are disappointing and show there is still much more work to be done in ensuring school leavers are fully aware of the benefits of undertaking an apprenticeship and in helping their parents or guardians feel confident and empowered in choosing this route. This is even more pertinent following the introduction of the Baker Clause in 2018, which was established to ensure schools give their pupils access to and information about technical education and apprenticeship opportunities. 

“The UK is experiencing a skills shortage, especially within the building services engineering sector, so apprenticeships offer a fantastic opportunity for school leavers to embark on a career in a highly skilled and well paid job.

“We really want to challenge people’s understanding of what an apprenticeship involves and importantly what it can lead to, so that all school leavers are fully informed. We also want to encourage more female and BAME learners, who are massively underrepresented within the trades to consider an apprenticeship as an option.

“We look forward to working with the education sector and industry to build on these results and create the next generation of skilled and talented tradespeople.”

JTL is one of the largest work-based learning providers in England and Wales. It currently works with some 8,000 learners and trains more apprentices than anyone in the building services engineering sector.

For more information about JTL, visit