Apprenticeships are being undersold by schools and colleges to A-level students preparing for their next step, a new report has claimed.
Research from the Chartered Institute of Management suggests that less than half of students are being given information about apprenticeship schemes.
A survey by the CMI and EY Foundation found that while 86 per cent of students had been given guidance about attending university, only 48 per cent said they had received information about choosing an apprenticeship.
Even fewer – 17 per cent – said they were aware of Trailblazer degree apprenticeships, launched by the government in November 2015, which offer a management degree through work-based learning and professional development.
The findings come less than a week after government outlined more detail on how it plans to create three million apprentices by 2020.
The CMI said students were being offered a “false choice”.
CMI director of strategy Petra Wilton said: “Too many schools are currently underselling the value of apprenticeships.
“Now that students have received their A-level results, they must avoid making a false choice between getting a degree or taking an apprenticeship.
“The new degree apprenticeships on offer, such as the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, result in a degree, on-hand experience and professional status.
“We must ensure that degree apprenticeships are highlighted as an attractive route into employment, giving the next generation the best chance to succeed in their future careers.”
The lack of information is also affecting how students view the value of apprenticeships.
Only a third (37 per cent) of those surveyed believed that apprenticeships led to a “good” career, although 66 per cent did associate the schemes with good job prospects.
However, just a quarter said they thought apprenticeships provided them with a better chance of getting a job than a university degree.
The CMI and EY Foundation polled more than 1,500 people aged 16-21.