ASCL comment on plans to advertise apprenticeships through UCAS

Kevin Gilmartin, Post 16 Specialist at the Association of Schools and College Leaders, responds to the news that apprenticeship opportunities will be advertised to young people alongside undergraduate degrees in plans to broaden UCAS.
“We welcome the steps being taken to allow young people to search and apply for apprenticeships through UCAS. It’s crucial that school and college leavers are well informed about the full range of options available to them and showcasing apprenticeships alongside degrees seems a sensible approach.
“In order to make this work, there needs to be more resources and support for schools and colleges to be able to deliver guidance from expert careers advisers who are familiar with the complex apprenticeships landscape. Since the government dismantled the Connexions service over a decade ago, schools have provided careers advice while battling severe funding pressures as well as many other demands on their time and resources. This has resulted in a fragmented system where the quality of careers guidance on offer varies widely from school to school according to the resources that are available. A report by The Sutton Trust last year found 88% of state school teachers felt their training didn’t prepare them to deliver careers information and guidance to students.
“Careers advice is a specialist service which requires extensive knowledge. If schools and colleges are not better supported to deliver this, then the worthy ambition of fully informing all students of the entire range of occupations, training and education opportunities available to them is dead in the water.”