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12 April 2013

Apprentices ‘more employable’ than graduates, finds government survey

‘Training is changing to reflect the world of work’, says NAS

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Job candidates who have trained through an apprenticeship scheme are “more employable” than people with other qualifications, even degrees, a government survey has found.

Employability research conducted with 500 companies, by ICM Research on behalf of the government, revealed that employers rate apprentices’ skills and experience way above candidates who have followed other career paths.

Higher Apprenticeships were ranked top by survey respondents who said they were 25 per cent more employable than those with other qualifications.

Lower level apprenticeships also scored highly as employers said people with these skills and experience were 15 per cent more employable than other comparable candidates.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock welcomed the findings and said that taking a Higher Apprenticeship could boost a young person’s lifetime earnings by more than £150,000.

“We want apprenticeships or university to become the new norm for young people leaving school and Higher Apprenticeships are an excellent way to enter high-profile careers while also achieving a degree-level qualification,” he said.

David Way, executive director at the National Apprenticeship Service, added: “Higher Apprenticeships are a great example of how apprenticeships are changing to reflect the world of work and the even higher level skills needed by employers.”

Gaenor Bagley, head of people, PwC, said: 
“We’re finding talent from wider sources than ever before. There’s no doubt in our mind that for talented students who are clear about their career path and want to get straight into work, Higher Apprenticeships offer a real opportunity that doesn’t compromise on training and development.”

PwC has recently launched a professional services Higher Apprenticeship programme.

Sarah Sillars, chief executive of sector skills council Semta, said: “Employers welcome apprentices with open arms. They know the business benefits that they bring with them.

“We know just how advantageous they are for the young people taking them too…  without them having to take on massive debts at university.”

The science, engineering and manufacturing sector will need a predicted 82,000  skilled employees in the next three years, she added, to replace retiring workers.


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