Career Academies UK, a business-led charity, is urging contractors in the hvac industry to take advantage of bright A-level students who lack the financial means, but not the aptitude, to go to university.
Research conducted last month among A and AS-level students awaiting their exam results found that 38% of students are concerned that they may not be able to afford university fees and 26% are deterred from going to university by the fear of a lack of jobs on graduation.
Similar research conducted in January by Career Academies UK showed only 13% thought university was worth £9,000 per year.
Career Academies says that 83% of 17-19 year olds that have been through a work experience programme say they are optimistic about their futures, underlining the confidence they derive from active support, enhanced careers guidance and paid internships. Over 95% aspire to attend university, go into a full-time job or take up work-based learning such as apprenticeships.
David Walker, policy director at Career Academies UK, said: 'The air conditioning, heating and ventilation profession has a real opportunity here. Instead of seeing a 19 year old job applicant as unwilling or unqualified to go to university, contractors working in these fields looking to recruit should see them as enthusiastic, 'can do' prospects, blessed with aptitude, enthusiasm and the 'can do' attitude that helps build businesses'.
Career Academies aims to help young people bridge the gap between school and work by giving them access to real experience of the working world.
Research was commissioned August 2013 by Career Academies UK. Over 200 students awaiting the results of their A Levels, AS Levels or Scottish Highers in 2013 responded.
Research published in January 2013 was conducted among 1000 year 12 students (1st year A level/BTEC) from across the UK by Career Academies UK in December 2012.