Association of Employment and Learning Providers
Young people now have an apprenticeship pathway to an equally high earning career which doesn’t saddle them with a lifetime of debt, according to the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) in response to the publication of the university Teaching Excellence Framework TEF) results.
Those on a level 5 higher apprenticeship, which comes without debt, are now earning an average £34,220 per annum over lifetime earnings, just £1,300 or just 3.6% per annum less than a traditional degree from a non-Russell Group university.
Offered by many household name employers, degree apprenticeships that also come without debt are still in their infancy but they are increasingly popular and over 100 universities, including Russell Group institutions, are now on the government’s register of approved apprenticeship providers.
Based on findings from the Sutton Trust, it is reasonable to hypothesise that the value in regards lifetime salaried earnings of a level 6 or level 7-degree apprenticeship could well be on a par with a traditional degree from a non-Russell Group HEI.
The LEO and TEF results underline why it is now more important than ever that young people explore their options fully rather than automatically choose to study a traditional degree.
AELP CEO Mark Dawe said:
‘Instead of spending a lifetime repaying tuition fees and maintenance loans, young people now have a viable alternative in the form of higher and degree apprenticeships and these new choices are only going to become more attractive.
‘Top employers are using their apprenticeship levy to widen their career offerings for higher level recruitment, so the opportunities are growing all the time. Young people should therefore ignore entrenched views about ‘having to go to university’ and do some serious research about their choices before making a crucial decision about their future learning and career.’
Link for official information about higher and degree apprenticeships:
Parity of Opportunity? Apprenticeships continue to close the earnings gap to traditional degree programmes.
The government recently published the eagerly awaited Longitudinal Educational Outcomes (LEO) data: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/graduate-outcomes-for-all-subjects-by-university.
The Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) data is a set of official experimental statistics on employment and earnings outcomes of higher education graduates by degree subject studied and university attended. The LEO data includes employment and earnings outcomes in 2014-15 for those who graduated in 2009, 2011 and 2013, broken down into 23 subject areas, and split by gender and individual institution.
Historically the main source of data for employment and earnings following higher education has been the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) have produced a clear list to help define the six main differences in the DLHE vs the LEO statistics:
1. The DLHE gives the outcome six months after graduation, whereas the LEO publication provides data one, three and five years after graduation.
2. DLHE is a survey based on graduates’ reported outcomes, and not all graduates respond, whereas LEO is based on HMRC tax data for all graduates working or claiming benefits in the UK.
3. The DLHE employment measure is based on a graduate’s status on a single day, whereas LEO is based on their employment over a six-month period.
4. DLHE has more information on what students are doing if they are not in paid employment. Some activity, such as unpaid work or internships, will be counted as employment in DLHE figures but not as employment in LEO. Other groups of graduates such as those traveling or unable to work are often excluded from DLHE reported figures.
5. DLHE earnings figures are usually based on those in full-time paid employment, whereas LEO is based on all those in paid employment.
6. The DLHE earnings measure includes those in self-employment if they report their income, whereas self-employed earnings are currently not included in LEO.
The LEO data highlights that for most courses at most universities, graduate salaries appear to remain fairly healthy. That said there is huge variation in salary outcomes, both between subjects and individual higher education institutions.
A key question we looked to explore is what is the financial value in terms of earnings which a traditional degree could bring versus a higher or indeed a new degree apprenticeship.
As degree apprenticeships are still relatively new, we have taken data produced by Dr Philip Kirby from the Sutton Trust’s Levels of Success, produced in Oct 2015 and modelled by the Boston Consulting Group to look compare earnings for long standing level 4 and level 5 higher apprenticeships against the earnings data for graduates as recorded in the latest LEO data. Here are the findings:
The results of this comparison highlights that the average salary for a non-Russell Group university graduate to be £35,520 over an individual graduate’s lifetime of salaried earnings.
The earnings of a level 4 higher apprenticeship equate to on average £32,790 per annum, a difference of £2,730 or circa 7.6% per annum vs a traditional degree from a non-Russell Group HEI.
However, moving to a level 5 higher apprenticeship equates to on average £34,220 per annum, a difference of £1,300 or circa just 3.6% per annum vs a traditional degree from a non-Russell Group HEI.
The evidence presented shows once individuals reach a level 4 higher apprenticeship the gap in an individual graduate’s lifetime of salaried earnings starts to narrow, as highlighted by then layering over those qualified with a level 5 higher apprenticeship.
On that basis it would be fair to hypothesise that the value in regards lifetime salaried earnings of a level 6 or level 7-degree apprenticeship would highly likely at least be on a par with a traditional degree from a non-Russell Group HEI.
A degree apprentice is earning earlier in their career straight from leaving school as opposed to the three years after leaving university. With a typical university taught graduate on a three-year course studying outside of London expecting to graduate with around £35,000-£40,000 of student loan debt, the prospect of an employer funded higher or degree level apprenticeship has never looked more appealing.
Association of Employment and Learning Providers
22 June 2017