How to engage with key apprentice groups: parents

  • Emma Finamore
  • 15 February 2019

There are specific people employers should connect with to promote their apprenticeship opportunities, and specific ways of reaching them. We reveal how to effectively engage with parents.

It’s easy to think that the most effective way of promoting apprenticeship programmes is by connecting directly with school leavers, but engaging with parents is equally important.


This group has a huge impact on the post-school decisions young people make. We think that employers who engage with them as well as with school leavers will generate more interest in their programmes and see a rise in applications.


The facts


Parents are the most important external factor when it comes to young people and their post-school career or education decisions. Young people care what their parents think about different options, and they are the most likely group to influence school leavers’ final career decisions.


According to our research, almost half (47.5%) of parents are already seeking information about post-school/college options for their child, and 36.7% are planning on doing so. It’s therefore well worth recruiters considering how to engage with parents, especially given how much influence young people say parents have on their decisions.


Research shows that parents are already aware of the opportunities offered by apprenticeships, and are receptive to more information about them. More parents have heard of an apprenticeship than universities, for example, and over 80% of parents know that apprenticeships are an option for their students when they leave school.


Around 85% of parents believe that an apprenticeship is a great opportunity for young people to learn new skills, and nearly 90% believe that an apprenticeship is a good alternative for school leavers looking for a new challenge.


How can you engage?


Careers events are a great place to start when it comes to engaging with parents to promote your apprenticeship positions: around half of parents look at information on apprenticeships at these events.


AllAboutSchoolLeavers run annual events to help apprentice recruiters connect directly with parents. Their Parents’ Days in London, Birmingham and Manchester teach parents about the post-school options (for example, Degree Apprenticeships as well as the traditional university route) available to their children in a simple and straightforward matter. They also introduce them to employers so they can ask questions, and employers can properly explain their school-leaver opportunities.


Google and careers advice/job websites are also essential for promoting programmes to parents, especially those who are proactive when it comes to helping their children make decisions. According to our research, these online resources are rated most highly by parents already on the lookout for information, selected 65% and 44.7% of the time respectively.


Both Google and careers advice/job websites have increased their share of the vote on previous surveys: online methods are becoming more and more important to parents. These spaces are therefore very important when it comes to promoting apprenticeships and connecting with parents—and are set to become more so over the coming years.


But it’s worth noting that almost half of parents say they want to use, and already use, meetings with careers advisers and teachers to find information, so your efforts shouldn’t be entirely focused online: by getting information on opportunities out to careers advisers and teachers, recruiters will be indirectly informing parents as well as the students in those schools.


For more detailed research on parents and the methods employers should consider when reaching out to them, visit the AllAboutResearch research hub.


Top Insights


  • Parents are the most important external factor when it comes to young people and their post-school career or education decisions.
  • Parents want to know more about school leaver options and think apprenticeships are a good opportunity. Half of parents look for information at careers events.
  • Parents use Google and careers advice/job websites to find out careers information.
  • Almost half of parents use/want to use meetings with meetings with careers advisers and teachers to find information.