From education to employment

Employers more likely to back Apprenticeship route as A-level results loom

New research reveals employers are more likely to encourage young people to take Apprenticeships over degrees as many eagerly await their A-level results this week.

A survey of around 500 employers found 71 per cent of them would recommend young people become apprentices, compared with 52 per cent that would back the academic route to a university degree.

Businesses in the South West are most likely to back Apprenticeships, and employers overall rate qualified apprentices as 15% more employable than those with other qualifications.

Jan Smallbone, EMEA director of talent at coffee chain Starbucks, said: “The word apprentice has changed a lot over the last few years in this country, and so it’s great to see that UK businesses now recognise the potential of apprenticeships as an alternative to higher education.

“As we enter exam results season when a lot of young people are making decisions about their future careers, this research shows that apprentices are very employable. We are passionate about encouraging young people to build a long term retail career through a vocational route which offers real progression, and our own apprentices are already accumulating a wealth of transferable business and life skills. This is especially valuable for those who don’t want to follow a traditional, and now very expensive, academic route.”

According to, which provides advice for school and college leavers and commissioned the report, the figures show businesses are losing faith in universities.

Sarah Clover, communications director at and a former engineering apprentice, warned that despite the benefits of an Apprenticeship many young people are still not receiving sufficient advice in school or college about the vocational route.

“Too many young people still think that university is their only option and that’s largely down to the lack of advice they get whilst at school or college,” she said.

“This simply has to change, especially now that more employers are seeing apprentices as better candidates for job roles than graduates.”

Natalie Thornhill


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