Develop Training Limited (DTL), a leading provider to the utilities and construction sector, says apprenticeships can meet many of the challenges thrown up by falling university numbers.
Many commentators have blamed high tuition fees for a growing number of young people choosing not to apply for university, raising fears of a lack of social mobility. But DTL points out that school leavers give other reasons too, including that they don’t enjoy studying or don’t think they have the necessary academic skills for university.
The training company says that apprenticeships have the capability, not just to provide an alternative to university but also to address the wider issues
Operations Director, John Kerr, says: “Instead of racking up student debt, apprentices earn while they learn, and apprenticeships provide other ways of learning for those who aren’t suited to academia. At DTL, we specialise in practical training for high earning roles in utilities and construction. Yes, there is an element of classroom learning but for most of our apprenticeships, the focus is on learning through well-supervised, genuine on-the-job experience.”
Mr Kerr says that apprenticeships can also generate social mobility, even beyond what might be expected from gaining a practical qualification and a well-paid job. He explains: “As an organisation that believes in providing a holistic educational experience, we support many young people who have fallen behind with academic learning.” Crucially, he points out, that includes ensuring that apprentices attain satisfactory levels of literacy and numeracy.