Apprenticeships vs University: Research reveals an East Midlands generational split

Parents and their children in the East Midlands are divided over whether university or an apprenticeship is the best next step towards a successful career ahead of the release of A-Level and GCSE results, research commissioned by Amazon has revealed.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The study found 81% of parents in the East Midlands believe an apprenticeship would provide their child with a good chance of getting a permanent job, compared with 54% for university – the lowest number in the UK. The YouGov survey also revealed 76% of parents in the East Midlands thought an apprenticeship provided good earnings potential, compared with 68% for university education.

However, students from the East Midlands disagree with parents, with 82% believing university provides good earning potential compared with 65% for apprenticeships. A degree came out on top for providing a good opportunity to get a permanent job (79%), compared with an apprenticeship (73%).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

For those who do choose an apprenticeship as their next career step, Amazon provides opportunities for upskilling and retraining for people of all ages, at all stages of their careers, offering schemes in a wide variety of areas including engineering, cyber security, broadcast production, and operations management.

Ellie SandersonEllie Sanderson
Ellie Sanderson

One person who has taken the next step in her career with an apprenticeship is Ellie Sanderson, an apprentice from the Amazon corporate office in London.

Ellie Sanderson from Northampton works at Amazon’s head office in London as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Apprentice and is studying CSR and Sustainability through the Amazon Apprenticeship programme. Ellie has already completed the first year of her three-year apprenticeship at Amazon.

On leaving school, Ellie decided to study primary school teaching at university, but after a year she decided it wasn’t for her. Ellie ventured into retail work and began an apprenticeship in retail management where she touched on the topic of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), triggering an interest in the topic. After deciding she would like to build a career path in CSR, she was introduced to the Amazon Apprenticeship programme and decided to apply.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As part of her role at Amazon, Ellie gets to work with colleagues in the UK and around the world. It’s this global workplace that really appeals to her. “I thoroughly enjoy supporting the team in running global campaigns and having the chance to work directly with community ambassadors to make a positive change in their local community,” she said.

To anyone considering joining the Amazon Apprenticeship programme, Ellie said: “Give it a go and don’t doubt your abilities. Everyone at Amazon wants to see you succeed and support is always there when you need it.”

The Amazon apprenticeship scheme launched in 2013 and, to celebrate the 10th anniversary, Amazon is partnering with Apprentice Nation, a career development and entertainment platform, to produce an event featuring Cat Burns, the BRIT-nominated, double-platinum-selling South London artist. The mentoring event will support students as they decide the next step on their career path. More than 200 people will be invited to the event in September where Cat will play an exclusive, one-off gig.

Cat Burns is a BRIT-nominated, double-platinum-selling South London artist, Cat said: “I think it’s really important for people to be proud of themselves, whatever their situation or background. There’s a space for everyone in this life - you just need to be able to carve out your own path. Through my music, I want to keep on inspiring others to create their own journey in life and to shape their future. Everyone has gifts.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She added: “Apprentice Nation offers youth the opportunity to do this and I’m excited to be performing with them and also to celebrate ten years of Amazon Apprenticeships.”

Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon said: “It is brilliant to see that apprenticeships are now widely recognised as offering great career prospects, particularly amongst parents. Amazon’s decade-long commitment to apprenticeships has been instrumental in this progress, putting apprenticeships at the heart of the business and giving over 5,500 people the opportunity to earn while they learn the skills they need to succeed.

“Demand for apprenticeships is rising, but these findings show that we must continue our work to ensure that apprenticeships and traditional degrees are on an equal footing. To help more young people make informed decisions about their future, we are working with UCAS to expand their service so students can search and apply for apprenticeships alongside degrees and continuing to promote them through our Get the Jump campaign.”

Amazon’s UK Country Manager, John Boumphrey, said: “Young people and their families are having to navigate really complex decisions at this time of year. That’s why we’re providing information, guidance, and support throughout the year, as well as our special career mentoring event with Cat Burns. It’s all designed to help them decide on the best path for them and their future.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I am excited that we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of apprenticeships at Amazon, and also offer many opportunities for people to join us in their first job outside of university. We offer all kinds of jobs for all kinds of people reflecting the range of skills and abilities in communities across the UK and look forward to supporting young people to build successful careers.”

Explore more about Amazon apprenticeships here.

Explore more About Amazon’s student programmes here.