Scottish pupils celebrating – or commiserating about – their exam results this week will have worked harder and been under more pressure to achieve exam success than their parents, new research from Prudential shows.
Its study, among parents of pupils sitting high school-level exams across Scotland, found that 72 per cent believe their children put in more effort studying than they did, while 81 per cent say there is more pressure to achieve exam success nowadays.
Hard working pupils are also being encouraged to look at options beyond college and university by their parents.
The Prudential research released ahead of exam results day (August 9), which will influence the career choices of thousands of Scots schoolchildren, shows growing support from parents for children to sign up for apprenticeship schemes as an alternative to university. But it also revealed signs that parents may not be fully informed about all the options open to their children.
Even though more than four out of five parents (81 per cent) questioned said they would encourage their children to start an apprenticeship, just over half of parents (51 per cent) said their child’s school had never mentioned apprenticeships as a career option and 58 per cent said their children had not mentioned the option of an apprenticeship to them.
But when asked their preference, 35 per cent of parents believe that a university education is always the best choice for their children, with a fifth saying that apprenticeships don’t offer the best career path.
However, Skills Development Scotland (SDS) figures show that nearly 26,000 Scots have started a Modern Apprenticeship in 2015/16 while more than 196,000 have started an Modern Apprenticeship since 2007. Prudential offers its own successful apprenticeship scheme.
Simon Moffatt, human resources director at Prudential UK, said: “Students receiving their results deserve congratulations as their parents acknowledge pupils have worked harder for their exams and are under more pressure to achieve the results required for their future career choices.
“With the stress of exams behind them, choosing what to do now is the next big decision facing the class of 2016 school leavers.
“Apprenticeships can provide a real alternative to higher education and it is worrying if parents and pupils are not always aware of the opportunities on offer. The playing field needs to be levelled to ensure students recognise apprenticeships are available across a wider number of industries and sectors and in many cases are just as valuable as a degree when it comes to entering the workplace.”
The Prudential apprenticeship programme goes beyond just offering employment. Its aim is to arm young people with the qualifications, knowledge and life skills needed to embark on a successful career in whichever field they choose.
The programme offers placements in a wide range of roles in the company, including within its IT, HR, customer services, operations, sales support, distribution, financial planning and marketing departments. Positions are available within Prudential’s Stirling, Reading and London offices.
To date, Prudential has recruited over 175 young people to its high quality, work-based training programme. It is based on a 13-month training contract, with all apprentices being paid the National Living Wage.