Report released today surveying students from both technical schools and traditional schools finds significant differences in the optimism and experience of students in different forms of education.
Technical school students feel they have gained greater business know-how and practical skills and are more confident of being job ready when they leave school.
But should parents and students be considering alternative paths even earlier than 16?
Students who attend technical schools are more confident of getting a job when they finish education than those at traditional schools.
That’s according to findings from a new survey released today by the charity behind University Technical Colleges, which surveyed students in years 10-13 from both technical academies and mainstream schools.
The corresponding surveys show students at technical colleges are also more confident of being job ready when they do enter the workplace, as well as being more confident of getting a job they will enjoy and that will meet their skill sets.
Today’s survey also shows that while half of students at traditional schools plan on going to university, only one in ten will be doing an apprenticeship; at technical colleges, around three times as many intend to pursue an apprenticeship.
More than twice as many technical school students feel they have gained business-know how compared to their mainstream school counterparts. The study also shows that almost 70% of students at technical colleges believe they have gained practical skills compared to less than half from more traditional schools.
Students from traditional schools said careers in arts and culture and healthcare were what they were aiming for. In comparison, those from technical colleges rated engineering and IT and digital as the career they are most likely to pursue after education, skills in great demand by UK plc.
Apprenticeships and more technical forms of education have been recognised as a way of filling key skills shortages in areas such as engineering and manufacturing, but should vocational routes be promoted more widely to students and their parents?
And what can be done to ensure that more of today’s students are job ready and have the confidence to face their future working career?