Apprenticeship Becomes a More Popular Choice for UK Students

Category : Education/Family

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. gain ground / geɪn graʊnd / (idiom) – to become more popular or well-known

    The new after-school program is gaining ground among the students and many are still signing up.

  2. in lieu of (something) / ɪn luː ʌv, ɪn luː əv / (idiom) – instead of something

    In lieu of studying at a university, I am going to work after high school.

  3. regard / rɪˈgɑɚd / (v) – to have a particular opinion about something

    I regarded my teacher as a wise man.

  4. not cut out for (something) / nɑːt kʌt aʊt foɚ / (idiom) – not qualified for or not good at something

    With my low grades, I think I’m not cut out for studying.

  5. prejudice / ˈprɛʤədəs / (n) – an unfair and often negative view or opinion toward someone or something

    There is a general prejudice against people who do not graduate from top universities.


Read the text below.

A UK foundation has discovered that taking on an apprenticeship is gaining ground in England and Wales.

The recent survey published by the Sutton Trust showed a 9% increase in the number of students who are interested in apprenticeships as compared to the data from its 2014 study. The survey involved 2,381 participants, aged 11 to 16, from secondary schools in England and Wales. About two-thirds of the participants expressed an interest in pursuing an apprenticeship in lieu of a degree.

In the United Kingdom, an apprenticeship involves simultaneously being employed and studying in a college or a training center. It can last up to six years depending on the program and the apprentice’s current abilities. Usually, an apprentice undergoes hands-on or on-the-job training with mentors while earning a minimum wage. At the end of an apprenticeship, an apprentice is expected to have gained enough skills and knowledge to progress in his or her career or move on to the next apprenticeship level.

Although getting an apprenticeship is becoming popular, some people still think that getting a degree is better. This is because apprenticeships have been regarded as an option for students who are not cut out for a university degree.

The Sutton Trust hopes to change this prejudice. In fact, the foundation conducted the survey as part of its Better Apprenticeships campaign, which aims to improve the view of students, teachers, and even parents toward apprenticeships. The campaign also calls on the government and educational institutions to enhance the quality of available apprenticeship programs throughout the United Kingdom.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• If you were given the choice, would you rather take an apprenticeship or get a degree? Explain.
• What can make an apprenticeship program appealing to students in your country? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Aside from apprenticeships and degrees, what are other ways for young people to enhance their skills? Discuss.
• Right now, what skills would you want to develop? Discuss.

Category : Education/Family