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A record number of university paces in the UK have been offered to school leavers after receiving their A-level results, 424,000 to be exact. But as thousands of young people across the country celebrate their place at university, many parents are leaning towards apprenticeships as the top career choice for their children.

According to new survey, two thirds (66%) of parents would tell their children that doing an apprenticeship is a great way to get experience and get paid for a job in their chosen field.

The study, commissioned by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, also found that over half of parents would also encourage their child to do an IT apprenticeship as a way of starting a career in IT.

Lucy Ireland, deputy CEO of BCS L&D Ltd, said: “With the Government pledging to create 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020 now is an ideal time for young people who want to start their career in IT, as well as people looking for a new career.

“It’s great that parents are recognising the value of apprenticeships which provide a world of opportunity.”

The Institute survey also found that 71% of parents think it is important for their child to gain work experience to develop practical skills.

The findings come after it was recently announced that the government will introduce an apprenticeship levy next year, to encourage employers to increase their number of apprentices and help fund three million apprenticeships in the UK by 2020.

Lucy adds: “An apprenticeship offers young people a wealth of new lasting knowledge and skills including a hands-on approach to learning while earning.”

Young people are increasingly searching for different career paths, which was highlighted in another recent study by, which found that half of Britons aged 18 and over were not planning on going to university.

Out of 2,500 people, it was revealed the main reasons for this was due to the increasing cost of tuition (58%) and the fact that many believe they can get a job without a degree (52%). The study also found 39% of respondents were planning to learn whilst they work, be doing an apprenticeship.

Sharon Walpole, CEO of, said: “University isn’t for everyone; there are so many different routes that you can take, including getting an apprenticeship or undertaking vocational training.

“The positives to looking at an alternative route are that you won’t be left paying off student loans for the next twenty-five or more years, you can earn money whilst you’re learning and being trained, and you’re not learning from a book, you’re learning from real-life hands-on experience."