From education to employment

New research highlights benefits of apprenticeships

Young people who learn their trade through apprenticeships will earn more throughout their working lives.

Research from Sheffield University shows they can earn more than employees with vocational qualifications, and women who reach the equivalent of A-level standard can also expect a higher salary.

The study ““ the first to look at how apprenticeships contribute to the UK’s economy ““shows a complete revival of a programme that almost died out in the 80s.

Since 1997 the government has ploughed almost £10bn into apprenticeships in more than 180 industries and a record quarter of a million people have taken up training to start careers in everything from IT to retail.

Skills Minister Phil Hope praised the success of the scheme and said he hoped employers from even more industries would consider offering training through apprenticeships.

He said: “This report shows the real value for young people of undertaking an apprenticeship. It confirms that it pays to be an apprentice. Many people think that apprenticeships are a thing of the past. In fact nothing could be further from the truth. The programme is going from strength to strength, and the status and quality of the programme is rising all the time”.

“We have accepted Lord Leitch’s recommendation to have 400,000 apprentices in learning in England by 2020. Today’s evidence shows the Government is right to invest almost £1bn per year in this programme. I am particularly pleased that women are shown to enjoy positive returns taking part in Government funded apprenticeships”.

Sir Roy Gardner, Chairman of the Apprenticeship Ambassador Network and Chairman of Compass Group plc said apprenticeships were one of the most cost effective ways to build a skilled and competitive workforce.

He said: “The findings of this research are very welcome and encouraging. Members of the Network are already convinced of the business case for, and benefits of, training people through Apprenticeships ““ increased productivity, higher quality of work, greater staff retention and reduced costs leading to higher profits”.

“This piece of research adds to the benefits by quantifying the financial return of giving people the right training, the right skills and the right qualification. Apprenticeships not only benefit the individual throughout their working life, but also the business, irrespective of size and sector”.

Hardip Sidhu.

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