Apprentice
Only two in ten of respondents said that a traditional degree would be better than a degree-level apprenticeship(Reuters)

UK youngsters think that degree-level apprenticeships are better for future careers prospects than a traditional university diploma, according to pollster Ipsos MORI.

The study, which was conducted to coincide with the Sutton Trust/Pearson summit on apprenticeships and vocational education, found that only two in ten (21%) of respondents said that a traditional degree would be better than a degree-level apprenticeship - opposed to 34% who supported the latter option.

The survey, which polled more than 1,700 people aged between 16 and 25, also revealed that a further third of people (33%) feel both are equally valuable.

"There is a growing appetite for real apprenticeships among young people and the wider public," said Conor Ryan, director of research at the Sutton Trust.

"But there are still not nearly enough apprenticeships at A-level or degree standard available. It is vital that this gap is addressed."

The research also revealed that more than half of young people (55%) aged 11-16 said they would be interested in an apprenticeship rather than going to university if it was available in a job they wanted to do.

But only 30% say that their teachers have ever discussed the idea of apprenticeships with them at school.

Ipsos-MORI also surveyed adults between the age of 16 and 75 and found that two thirds of the public believe that most apprenticeships should be designed to meet A-level standard (Level 3) or higher, whereas government data shows that two thirds of apprenticeships started by young people in 2012/13 were only at GCSE standard (Level 2).

In addition, more than five in ten (56%) of parents say they are likely to encourage their children to go for a degree, while only 40% would encourage them to do an apprenticeship.