Almost half of West Midland residents believe University isn’t worth the debt

Almost half of West Midland residents believe University isn’t worth the debt


Almost half of West Midland residents (46%) believe spending thousands of pounds on a university degree is not worth the debt when it comes to improving career chances, according to new research from Greene King.

The research, which was conducted for the UK’s leading hospitality apprenticeship provider to mark National Apprenticeship Week (4 – 8 March), found over three fifths (61%) would consider an apprenticeship as the most useful start to their career, and over four fifths (82%) see an apprenticeship as an attractive alternative to university. However, more than half (56%) believe there just aren’t enough apprenticeship schemes around.

Many think that apprenticeships should be made more accessible to those with a lower household income, with two thirds (66%) saying there should be more support to help them get into work.

One of the most important places that the next generation receives advice on what they should do in their careers is in the classroom. However, the survey revealed a shortfall in career advice at school. Almost half (47%) of most recent school leavers aged 18 to 24 found careers advice either not very useful OR not at all useful. More than one in ten (12%) 18 to 24-year olds said they weren’t offered careers advice at school at all 

Greene King, the UK’s leading pub company and brewer, works directly with schools and colleges to promote the opportunities available to students and offers an award-winning apprenticeship programme that has trained 11,000 people since 2011. As part of a series of commitments in the company’s Stepping Up report, which was published in January and looks at addressing social mobility, Greene King will support 20,000 apprentices by 2022. 

Rooney Anand, chief executive of Greene King, said: “We recognise that a university degree isn’t the only option for young people when embarking on their journey to kick start a successful career. Apprenticeships provide the opportunity to learn and earn – something that works really well for our team members. We offer apprenticeships up to Level 5, which is equivalent to a Higher National Diploma, and have seen time and time again our people develop from a stop-gap job serving behind the bar to developing their career to become a general manager with the opportunity of running a multi-million pound turnover business employing as many as 70 people.

“In fact our general managers are instrumental to the success of our apprenticeship programme with 95% of our pubs having supported an apprentice since we launched our scheme in 2011. As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we’re delighted to continue our support of 20,000 apprentices by 2022 as we continue to champion this important approach to learning and career development.”

Sian Cartwright, 25, was previously working within an insurance company before joining Greene King to broaden her career horizons. 

She is one of the many career success stories at the brewing and pubs giant, which pledges to have taken on 20,000 apprentices before the end of 2022. 

Sian says: “I was previously working within the insurance industry, before I decided to make the move in to hospitality. I had previously gone to college, even though I knew this was not the right path for me and after a few weeks, I left. 

“I then started a position with Greene King, working front of house. I worked with them for a while before recently having a baby and whilst on maternity leave the opportunity arose to join their apprenticeship scheme and I thought why not give it a go.  

“This gave me the opportunity to learn from home and manage my own work load which fits in perfectly with being a mum. I knew I wanted to improve my current skills and develop myself further for my job and someone has been on hand every step of the way to support my progression. 

“I have become a team leader and have just completed my level 3 hospitality supervisor and this all thanks to doing my apprenticeship. The next step for me is to continue my progression and I would like to become a general manager.  

“Starting my first apprenticeship has made me realise that it doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s never too late to start on a new path.” 

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW 2019) is an annual celebration of apprenticeships that brings the whole apprenticeship community together to celebrate the impact they have on individuals, employers and the economy.


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