IF you believe the headlines, Britain is gripped by a generational divide that has never been wider.

On key issues, such as pensions, job security, home ownership and how we vote, there’s evidence of a chasm between millennials (those born from the 1980s onwards) and their parents and grandparents, which doesn’t look like being bridged any time soon. It is easy to see why.

Young people were left on average 7 per cent worse off after the financial crash; the over-60s 11 per cent better off. Meanwhile, the proportion of 25-year-olds owning their own home has nearly halved over the past 20 years. Just 18 per cent of the UK’s property wealth is now owned by people under 50.

Tuition fees mean people leave university with an average debt of more than £50,000.

Apprenticeships can be a step to a degree level qualification that doesn’t saddle students with tuition fees, but here too there’s a divide between how young people and their parents view workplace training.

A survey published today of 16 to 24-year-olds by consumer group Which? found just three per cent put apprenticeships as their first choice when leaving school or college. It contrasts with a report last week which said the majority of parents believe apprenticeships offer more secure job prospects than a degree. It’s feared that not enough young people are aware that the option is there for them.

Britain’s social mobility is among the worst in the developed world. Promoting good quality apprenticeships can be a vital part of preventing young people from feeling left behind.