1 in 5 parents hope their kids won't go to university


  • Survey of UK parents reveals 73% of parents would struggle to support their child financially if they went to university this year
  • British parents are in favour of practical working experience over degree qualifications, research reveals
  • Ahead of A-level results day, Greene King is offering bar, restaurant and kitchen apprenticeship schemes across the UK

One in five parents say they would not encourage children to go to university, new national research reveals.

A study of 1,000 parents commissioned by Greene King has revealed that 19% of parents feel university is not the right choice for their children, with cost pressures listed as the main cause for concern.

Over seven in 10 (73%) parents say they would struggle to support their child financially if they went to university this year, with almost half (45%) saying they’re worried about the impact of student debt on their kids.

This year, Greene King will continue its award-winning apprenticeship scheme, building on its 2022 commitment to taking on 5,000 new apprentices by 2025. Since 2011, the business has supported over 16,500 apprentices at various levels.

When it comes to the workplace, Brits are in favour of hands-on experience, with 84% saying that experience in a practical working environment such as a pub, builds character.

At the same time, over a quarter of parents (26%) said their own degree qualification was not essential to their chosen career path, with almost half (47%) saying they would not go to university if they were re-living their education years.

According to the latest research, the ability to ‘earn as you learn’ (earning a wage while gaining a qualification) was voted as the most appealing aspect of an apprenticeship by 60% of parents.

At Greene King, employees will gain hands on experience working in a dynamic hospitality environment, as well as being able to work towards an apprenticeship qualification as they progress throughout their hospitality career, including Production Chef Level 2 (equivalent to 5 x GCSEs) up to Senior Level 7 (MBA).

With inclusion at the heart of everything Greene King does, its apprenticeships give young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to earn as they learn about different facets of the hospitality industry. There are currently a variety of entry level roles on offer for a range of FOH (Front of House) and BOH (Back of House) positions throughout the country.


Andrew Bush, chief people and transformation officer, at Greene King said: “We want to wish everyone the best of luck ahead of A-Level results day.

“Whatever happens on A-Level and GCSE results days, it’s worth remembering that there are alternative career paths available, not just university. Our apprenticeship programme allows young people to immerse themselves in the hospitality industry and forge a long-lasting, rewarding and exciting career.

“The programme is designed to fit around your chosen role and provide the support you need to reach your true potential. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the industry and looking for some hands-on experience, or if you’re looking to enhance your career with a senior qualification – we’ve got something for you.

“Not only can you earn from the get-go (meaning no restrictive student debt), every day is different in this fast-paced and fun industry.”

To search for apprenticeship vacancies near you, visit: https://jobs.greeneking.co.uk/apprenticeships


For more information, or any other media enquiries please contact greeneking@wearebrazenpr.com

Notes to editors

About Greene King:

Greene King is the country’s leading pub company and brewer with c.2,600 pubs, restaurants and hotels across England, Wales and Scotland.

At Greene King we are passionate about delivering our purpose to ‘pour happiness into lives’. That’s for our customers, our team, our pub partners, our suppliers and the communities in which we live, operate and serve. Founded in 1799 with offices in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk and Burton on Trent in Staffordshire we employ around 39,000 people across the group with four divisions: Greene King pubs, Destination Brands, Partnership and Ventures, and Brewing & Brands.

Greene King pubs are located where people and communities come together; pubs enjoyed in cities, towns and villages throughout the country.

Destination Brands is a mixture of food and drink-led brands including Hungry Horse, Farmhouse Inns, Chef & Brewer, Wacky Warehouse, and Pub & Carvery, Pub & Dining and Pub & Grill
Partnerships & Ventures includes Pub Partners, which runs our tenanted and leased pubs business and Hive Franchise pubs, and our Ventures Brands which is made up of Metropolitan Pub Company, Hickory’s, Hotels Group and Crafted Pubs.

Brewing & Brands covers the brewing sides of the business. Quality ales are brewed at the Westgate brewery in Bury St Edmunds and the Belhaven Brewery in Dunbar. Our industry-leading portfolio includes Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale, Ice Breaker and Belhaven Best and our premium beers, Level Head and Flint Eye, brewed for the modern-day drinker.


Greene King are listed in 18th place in the Department for Education’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list for 2023. The list celebrates England’s outstanding apprenticeship employers and recognises their commitment to creating new apprenticeships, the diversity of their apprentices, and the number of apprentices who successfully achieve their apprenticeships.

Greene King were recognised in the Princess Royal Training Awards 2022, recognising its commitment to enhancing social mobility through apprenticeships, and also received a Special Commendation for demonstrating a significant commitment to inclusion and diversity.