Parents looking at alternatives to university

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Parents in the North West are amongst the most likely in the UK to discuss the alternatives to university with their children.

But the majority still want their children to enter higher education – according to research from professional services firm EY, graduate recruitment specialists GTI Media and the Association of Graduate Careers Services (AGCAS).

Almost two thirds (64 per cent) of parents surveyed in the North West said that they discussed options like school leaver programmes, vocational training, apprenticeships and jobs with their children.

This represents the third highest regional percentage behind the South West and the East Midlands.

However, 67 per cent of parents in the North West still actively encouraged their children to go to university over the alternatives, with almost half believing that a degree would do more than other options to improve their children’s career prospects.

Gary Harding, Partner at EY in the North West, said: “It’s encouraging that North West parents are amongst the most likely to talk to their children about alternative choices after college or sixth form. However it’s clear that, for many of them, university is still seen as the default option and the safest route to achieving career success.

“However, in reality, entering the workplace straight after A-Levels can play to the strengths of some highly-focused students.”