Schools must push apprenticeships when offering careers advice

careers advice

A new law will ensure schools give equal exposure to non-academic career routes …

School career guidance must highlight non-academic routes as well as academic. New government plans will see an end to the “second class” perception of technical and professional education (TPE).

Under a new law, apprenticeship providers and staff from colleges would be expected to visit schools as part of careers advice services.

The decision was made after ministers raised concerns about the careers advice delivered in schools, with many unwilling to recommend apprenticeships or other TPE routes to any students but the lowest achieving. This, the government said, is creating a two-tiered system of careers advice.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “As part of our commitment to extend opportunity to all young people, we want to level the playing field – making sure they are aware of all the options open to them and are able to make the right choice for them.

“For many young people going to university will be the right choice, and we are committed to continuing to expand access to higher education, but for other young people the technical education provided by apprenticeships will suit them better.

“That’s why I’m determined to tackle the minority of schools that perpetuate an outdated snobbery towards apprenticeships by requiring those schools to give young people the chance to hear about the fantastic opportunities apprenticeships and technical education offer.

Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC), said young people need to be presented all the facts and different routes into a successful career, irrespective of their grades.

“To make informed choices for the future, young people need high-quality, impartial careers information about all post-16 education and training options, including apprenticeships and technical and professional education.

“We have long been calling for an improvement to the system and welcome the changes outlined. Colleges recognise the critical nature of good careers education and will be very keen to continue to work together with their local schools. This announcement will make that a reality.”

The government said it was aware some schools were failing to provide the full range of options to pupils. For example, schools with sixth forms were not inviting local further education colleges to present all academic subjects on offer or to discuss apprenticeship routes.

Under the new legislation schools will be required by law to collaborate with colleges, university technical colleges, and other training providers to present all the routes into the workplace.

The changes will be brought into place at the earliest opportunity.


  1. We have championed apprenticeships for many areas and we are lucky to be in an area where there is an abundance of opportunities for our leavers. Year 11 students are encouraged to apply for 6th form (grades allowing), Colleges and Apprenticeships. As part of our ‘Equipped for Life’ tagline, students are given lesson time to work through their opportunities and make informed choices. Part of the commitment is that all students are registered on Gov.UK/apprenticeships as well as other key sites. We also invite talks by a range of apprentices in the area to talk to students about their day to day working life.


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