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Home > News > February 2007 > 23 February 2007

It pays to be an apprentice, says DfES

Young people taking part in apprenticeships will enjoy significantly higher wages over their lifetime than they would have done without their training, according to a new study.

The research, commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills, says the value of an apprenticeship is estimated to be significantly above that of other vocational qualifications.

Researchers looked at the contribution the apprenticeship programme is making to the economy. Cost benefit analysis suggests a large value being put on apprenticeships in the UK.

According to the study, wage returns to apprenticeships have increased over the last ten years, and good returns for women at level 3 (vocational; equivalent to A level standard), are seen for the first time.

Skills minister Phil Hope 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 want more employers to offer new schemes. 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: "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.

"As businesses, our main concern is to remain successful and competitive - we compete in an increasingly global economy and we need skilled workforces to remain competitive. Apprenticeships are one of the most cost effective and practical ways to build these workforces."

Apprenticeships are available in over 180 occupations and sectors from IT to engineering to retail. For more information on apprenticeships, visit: http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/

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