Creating attractive apprenticeship opportunities for young people

March 8 2017

New research from MyKindaFuture has revealed that businesses need to actively spend time on raising awareness of their brand values, whilst connecting with young people digitally, in order to build their talent pipeline and meet the Government’s 3 million apprenticeship target by 2020.

The research released to mark Apprenticeship Week 2017, shows employers need to focus more on helping young people understand what their brand and organisation stands for, as over 50% of young people surveyed said they are attracted to a company with strong ethics. Additionally, a business culture which encourages continuous training and development, is an area that two thirds of young people say they are actively looking for from their future career.

With just a month to go before the Apprenticeship Levy goes live, employers need to review, and in some cases, overhaul how they attract emerging talent, as negative perceptions of apprenticeships are still putting young people off applying for these roles. Research showed a third of young people hold back from applying for apprenticeship programmes as they fear they would be considered inferior routes by their peers. 

The disconnect between young people’s ideas of what a fulfilling career entails and pressing business skills needs means employers could improve how they show what exactly an apprenticeship entails. This could involve also demonstrating how apprenticeships fit with the organisation’s mission and vision and the long-term benefits to young people. 58% of young people would views themselves still ‘in training’ while undertaking an apprenticeship. With only a quarter seeing themselves as having a career following completion and with 75% viewing a good salary as being a key reason to apply for an apprenticeship 

Many graduate recruiters will also manage apprenticeship recruitment for their business. 16-24 year olds spend over 27 hours a week online*, so employers need to be more strategic about how they engage with young people digitally. Only 45% of young people surveyed would look for an apprenticeship on a job board, whilst nearly two thirds (64%) of young people would look directly on a company’s website when looking for an apprenticeship.

Industry awareness amongst young people differs with Construction, Engineering and Energy sector are still the most well-known, with two thirds (65%) associating the industry with apprenticeships. 42% believe Advertising, Media and Marketing run apprenticeship programmes, followed by Banking and Finance (38%), Technology (38%), Accountancy (34%), Hospitality (29%) and Retail (29%).

"With the launch of the Apprenticeship Levy just around the corner, it is great to see employers working innovatively on their attraction and recruitment strategies, yet there is still more that can be done. Employers need to use digital channels to improve brand awareness and engage with young people on their platforms through digital chat and mentoring. This is an area that MyKindaFuture are focused on supporting businesses with and I look forward to working with employers this year and beyond to help build their apprenticeship talent pipelines.” William Akerman, Founder and Managing Director, MyKindaFuture