Call for greater use of vocational courses

The traditional university route taken by many young people may not be the best way of boosting their employment credentials, according to a new report.

The CBI thinks that more teenagers should take apprenticeships, degree courses which include a year in industry and shorter, or part-time degrees.

It says there is a chronic shortage of suitably qualified workers and businesses need to rid themselves of the misconception that A-levels, followed by a traditional three-year degree course is the best education route.

This month thousands of teenagers across the country will find out their A-level results which in turn will determine whether or not they are given a place at university. But the CBI has called for a similar admissions system to be set up for people applying for vocational courses.

The report says that the majority of jobs created between now and 2020 will be high-skilled jobs and nearly half of all jobs will be in managerial, professional or associate professional roles.

To meet the demand for candidates, different ways of training, such as vocational courses, need to be utilised.

The report says: "What is now seen as the 'default route' of an undergraduate degree is not suitable for all - young people have different talents and learn in different ways.

"To become informed consumers, young people need access to better work inspiration from primary school on: we should aim to inspire but also be realistic, setting out the costs and likely return on the options open to young people, including the vocational options that have long been undersold."

Copyright Press Association 2013