Ahead of National Careers Week (5th – 9th March 2018), motor industry body, Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), is highlighting the need for better understanding and communication – amongst schools and employers – about the career choices available to young people through apprenticeships.

This follows  Prime Minister Theresa May’s  call recently to ‘throw away this outdated attitude’ towards technical education, and to have ‘an education system at all levels which services the needs of every child’

According to research commissioned by IMI, the majority of 11-15 year olds receive little to no careers advice whilst at school – even though over 60% of teenagers said they wanted to jump straight into work and start earning money to avoid the growing debt associated with a university degree. But only 1 in 5 said they would choose an apprenticeship after leaving school.

Without good quality careers advice in schools, young people aren’t being made aware of the variety of choices available to them, which ultimately means the majority of young people choose the more popular academic route. The IMI is, therefore, urging automotive businesses to connect with local schools during National Careers Week to provide information on future jobs and learning, outside of the more familiar university route.

Steve Nash, Chief Executive at the IMI, said: “Many people aren’t aware that well-known names like Sir Alex Ferguson, the most successful football manager of all time, Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, and Ross Brawn OBE, Formula One Managing Director of Motorsports, all began their career as an apprentice.  And National Careers Week provides automotive businesses with an opportunity to engage with young people by giving them a chance to understand the vast array of opportunities available to them after GCSE’s.

“The motor industry has long been a shining beacon for the apprenticeship model.  The sector has relied heavily on apprentices to evolve our workforces and keep up with new innovations.  With businesses now at the heart of apprenticeships following the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy and new Apprenticeship Standards, it’s vital that information is provided to teachers and schools, so that they can positively influence young people when they come to making decisions about their career and future learning.

“We’re seeing a welcome focus on vocational training after government committed to transforming apprenticeships, with the aim to make them more inclusive and diverse.  But there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure young people and, crucially, their parents too, understand the opportunities available to them – to help businesses in our sector to recruit and train talented youngsters who can see us into an exciting future of electrified and autonomous vehicles.”