Education about apprenticeships is key

The chair of the government’s transport and infrastructure skills strategy Terry Morgan says more must be done to promote the balance between apprenticeships and the benefits of going to university.

This Morgan says, will help attract younger people into engineering, and is true of all apprenticeships.

“There’s nothing to stop you doing both,” he told Highways Magazine. “Apprenticeships are very often described as a single action. Going forward, I don’t think that will be the case. I’m very keen that people recognise they can get paid doing an apprenticeship and they can finish it and decide that they then want to go onto university.”

The government has pledged to create 30,000 apprenticeship places across the road and rail industry by 2020.

Morgan (pictured), who is the chairman of Crossrail, continued: “One of the reasons for this is either parental prejudice or teacher guidance is often quite limited in terms of anything else other than going to university. Schools historically have always been measured on their academic results and the proportion of students that go to university. That’s going to change. It can’t work any other way and I think Nicky Morgan (Secretary of State for Education) has got that message. She knows she’s got to do more in terms of promoting the balance between apprenticeships and the academic route.

“Indeed, and in my humble opinion, when you look at what happens when young people leave university they often go onto a development programme. I believe that should also be part of an apprenticeship. I never did understand this demarcation between an apprentice and a graduate. I’ve lived with it as I was an apprentice and also a graduate. I’m still the same person, but that demarcation is very real, as though it’s a statement about different capabilities. I don’t believe that either.”

This week (14-18 March) marks National Apprenticeship Week which is coordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

You can read the full exclusive interview with Terry Morgan here.

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