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Highly-qualified apprentices ‘more valuable’ than graduates

Apprentices who have done the highest, degree-level apprenticeship are more desirable to employers than people with standard university degrees, new research suggests.

In a survey of 500 firms commissioned by BIS and conducted by ICM, in which potential employees were ‘rated’ out of 10, degree-level apprenticeships scored the highest with 7.98, above normal university graduates on 7.58.

When averaged out, the three types of apprenticeship scored 7.36 out of ten, 15% higher than the average of other qualifications at 6.382. People with GSCEs only scored the lowest, at 5.14.

Higher apprenticeships allow people to earn a wage whilst they study for a degree, offered by a range of businesses. Last year 3,700 people enrolled, but the Government wants to increase numbers by 25,000.

The research is part of a move to change employers’ perception of the value of apprentices, and accompanies the launch of an online guide to higher apprenticeships in 41 subjects.

Skills minister Matthew Hancock MP said: “We want apprenticeships or university to become the new norm for young people leaving university.”

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

He added: “They can provide young people with a nationally recognised work-based route into professions that have traditionally been the preserve of graduates.”

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