Apprentices can earn 270% more over their lifetime than university graduates, according to new research from Barclays and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
The report – Productivity and Lifetime Earnings of Apprentices and Graduates – says the average gap in lifetime earnings potential between apprentices and graduates is now just 1.8%, with graduates earning just £2,200 more over a lifetime than those with A-Levels.
With rapidly increasing university fees, Barclays predicts that this gap will diminish entirely.
In addition, the report says apprenticeships are a popular and feasible career path regardless of age – with 43% of apprenticeship starts by people aged 25 and over in 2014/15.
Mike Thompson, head of apprentices for Barclays, said: “The figures released today show quantifiably for the first time that apprentices are getting a ‘hidden pay cheque’, through learning 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.”
The report follows last year’s news that an apprenticeship levy, which will be 0.5% of an employer’s wage bill and will be paid by organisations with annual wage bills in excess of £3m, will be introduced from April 2017.