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ERIC Number: ED499701
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 63
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 19
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-921170-21-8
Doing an Apprenticeship: What Young People Think
Misko, Josie; Nguyen, Nhi; Saunders, John
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
This study identifies the factors which explain why individuals enter or do not enter traditional trade apprenticeships. Two sources of information are used--students in secondary schools and current apprentices (including those who have recently completed their training). Specifically, information was obtained from about 800 apprentices and close to 1600 students in Years 10, 11 and 12 in South Australia. Among the findings: (1) Having an intrinsic interest in a trade is the main motivation for taking up or wanting to take up an apprenticeship. Improving the image of the trades among students, teachers and parents would promote a greater interest. (2) Most senior secondary school students claim not to be interested in doing an apprenticeship, with students of higher academic ability much less likely to be interested. Students of parents with university degrees were also less likely to be interested. Apprenticeship recruitment drives are likely to be more effective if they target those not planning to go on to higher education. Information should be made available to all students, since over one in three commencing apprentices have completed Year 12. (3) The current information and guidance available to school students is a potential barrier to greater interest in apprenticeships among young people. Apprenticeships were not widely promoted at school and specific information was not always easy to obtain. Relatively few students were encouraged by their teachers and counselors to pursue an apprenticeship. (4) Many school students are not attracted to apprenticeships because they believe pay of tradespeople to be too low (by comparison with pay for professionals). In contrast, those part way through an apprenticeship believe the main barrier to continuing is the training wage, which is low relative to what they might earn elsewhere. It is likely that this is a contributing factor to uptake and perhaps to non-completion. (5) Those part way through an apprenticeship are very positive about the experience, pointing especially to the enjoyment and challenge obtained from working and learning new skills, and the foundation the apprenticeship provides for good job and pay prospects for the future. Promoting these positive experiences could improve interest in apprenticeships among school students. This study helps us to better understand the career motivations of secondary school students, the experience of apprentices, and the relevant merits of different approaches for promoting careers in trades to various groups of students. The information gained can be used to focus recruitment drives more sharply and to provide some light on the changes to workplace practice, working conditions and training that may need to occur. (Contains 41 tables and 4 figures. Appended are: (1) Methodology; (2) Tables; (3) Occupations of Parents; and (4) Regression analysis-- all students.)
National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd. P.O. Box 8288, Stational Arcade, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Tel: +61-8-230-8400; Fax: +61-8-212-3436; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 10; Grade 11; Grade 12; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Leabrook (Australia).
Identifiers - Location: Australia