More than half of the UK’s 18-24 year olds feel pressured into to going to university or higher education, with this age group being four times more likely to experience pressure to study for a degree than +55 year olds, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
Key results from the FMB’s research into people’s attitudes about university include:
Half of 18-24 year olds felt pressurised by parents, teachers, friends, and/or society in general, to go to university;
The younger the generation, the more likely they were to have felt pressurised into attending university:
12% of +55 year olds felt pressured to go to university;
23% of 45-54 year olds felt pressured to go to university;
30% of 35-44 year olds felt pressured to go to university;
40% of 25-34 year olds felt pressured to go to university;
50% of 18-24 year olds felt pressured to go to university.
Speaking about the research, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “It is deeply concerning that half of the nation’s young people felt pressurised into going to university.
“Indeed, this new research shows a pattern: the younger the generation, the more likely they were to feel pressurised into studying for a degree. In the past, academic education was often favoured over vocational studies but this view was always questionable and is now outdated.
“With GCSE results having just been published, we are urging students to give other career paths such as vocational training and apprenticeships serious consideration. A construction apprenticeshipcan lead to a fulfilling and rewarding career.
“Our recent research showed that the average university graduate in England earns £32,000 a year whereas your average bricklayer or roofer is earning £42,000 a year.”
Berry concluded: “The construction industry is facing a severe skills shortage and it’s therefore of utmost importance that more young people join the sector.
“We are calling on all parents and teachers to encourage those who are finding out their GCSE results today to consider a career in construction. We know that nearly all of the key trades have become harder to recruit in the second quarter of this year compared to the previous three months. But construction isn’t just mud and boots, there are careers of all kinds up for grabs including engineering and quantity surveying.
“The only way we can guarantee enough skilled construction workers in the future is by attracting more young people into the sector and training them to a high standard.”