Consider all of the options

A new report commissioned by the Edge Foundation has highlighted the stigma surrounding vocational education, with 22% of respondents being advised they were “too clever” for apprenticeships and 36% told that choosing academic subjects would make them “more successful”.

2,000 18-35-year-olds took part in the study, which also found that those opting for the vocational pathway are just as fulfilled as those who choose university.

Jan Hodges of the Edge Foundation said: “Our research clearly shows that both academic and vocational education can lead to successful and fulfilling careers for young people. It is disappointing that so few parents and teachers see vocational education as being worthwhile, when in fact both routes result in similar levels of happiness, job satisfaction and financial gain.

“The stigma attached to vocational learning is old-fashioned and unjust. A skilled workforce is essential to the UK economy and high quality vocational routes need to be available and encouraged.”