ALMOST half of Scottish parents disagree that a university education beats an apprenticeship for achieving faster career success.

However, the study by the Prudential also found that despite the wide range of apprenticeship opportunities on offer, parents are worried about pay and three out of four parents believe apprentices are poorly paid.

The study among parents of pupils who completed high school-level exams across Scotland this summer shows 49 per cent disagree graduates are more likely to achieve faster career success than apprentices, and just a fifth (21 per cent) say apprenticeships do not offer the best career path.

Simon Moffatt, human resources director at Prudential’s insurance business in the UK, said: “There are a wide range of pathways into the working world and parents are increasingly recognising that university is not the only route to career success after school.

“Apprenticeships offer an excellent route into the workplace and should not be overlooked, especially as university education becomes more expensive.

“Apprenticeships give real world experience and part of the attraction is gaining excellent on-the-job training with the potential for a secure job and career progression. Many apprentices realise the prospect of good longer-term employment opportunities can offset the potentially lower initial pay.”

The Prudential apprenticeship scheme pays the National Living Wage and offers a high quality training programme, allowing apprentices to achieve a recognised vocational qualification as well as work-based skills and experience.

Meanwhile, a development programme designed to support the transition of secondary school pupils into employment is being extended across Scotland.

The Career Ready project, funded chiefly by Diageo with support from local government, is being introduced in Stirling and Clackmannanshire for the first time and will now include additional secondary schools in Moray and Fife.

Joining more than 100 schools in 11 local authority areas are eight schools from Stirling, Clackmannanshire, Moray and Fife. Participating students will now embark on the structured two-year course that is designed to give them vital experience of the world of work.

The highlight of the programme is a four-week paid internship with some of Scotland’s top businesses, including Diageo, Graham Construction, Harvey Nichols, Scottish Water, BlackRock, Standard Life and Royal Bank of Scotland.