Apprentices can earn up to 270% more over lifetime than university graduates
Apprentices in the UK earn £117,600 more over a lifetime than those with A levels, while graduates earn just a £2,200 (1.8%) premium over apprentices. The gap looks set to diminish entirely with rapidly increasing university fees.
In some sectors, apprentices’ lifetime earnings premium (LEP) outstrips that of graduates by more than 200% - in industries such as arts, media and publishing (270%) and agriculture, horticulture and animal care (210%)
The findings, from a report called ‘Productivity and lifetime earnings of apprentices and graduates’, was jointly released by Barclays and the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
The report rebukes a range of common misconceptions about apprenticeships including that they are only relevant for those looking for careers in vocational or manual industries; business, administration and law accounted for the most apprenticeship starts in 2014/15 (29%), closely followed by health, public services and care (26%).
These figures show quantifiably for the first time that apprentices are getting a ‘hidden pay cheque’, through earning while working, that is comparable or in some cases higher than university graduates. This bonus means they can fast track themselves to home or car ownership – as well as through their careers without worrying about long-term student debt.
Head of Apprentices for Barclays
In addition, the report makes it clear that apprenticeships are a popular and feasible career path regardless of age – with 43% of apprenticeships started by people aged over 25 in 2014/15 enrolling on programmes such as the Barclays Bolder, which has no upper age limit.
The report also reveals that apprenticeships have grown substantially in popularity over time –uptake has more than doubled in the past decade, with almost half a million started in the 2014/15 academic year. Barclays predicts these figures will grow exponentially in the coming years as potential university applicants face a challenging and unpredictable financial landscape.
Mike Thompson, Head of Apprentices for Barclays said: “These figures show quantifiably for the first time that apprentices are getting a ‘hidden pay cheque’, through earning while working, that is comparable or in some cases higher than university graduates. This bonus means they can fast track themselves to home or car ownership – as well as through their careers without worrying about long-term student debt. At Barclays, we firmly believe that apprenticeships should be considered a viable and valuable career path and a genuine alternative to university, and these new figures strongly back that up.”
With around 2,700 participants since launching its award-winning apprenticeship programme in April 2012, Barclays offers a variety of programmes to suit a range of levels, interests and ages. Through these programmes, Barclays aims to offer candidates the opportunity to achieve far-reaching skills, experience and insight. Enabling candidates to earn while they learn, Barclays’ higher and degree apprentices receive 100%, along with a competitive salary and benefits.