Apprenticeships set workers up for higher salaries and earn employers loyalty

People who complete an apprenticeship earn more money, stay longer with their employers and are more likely to rise to a management job than people who don’t, research has revealed.

The Career paths of former apprentices study by the Learning and Skills Network – funded by the Learning and Skills Council – is based on an analysis of labour market data that includes 30.5 million British people and interviews with both employers and employees.

The research shows that those who complete an apprenticeship earn an average £23,400 a year. This is nearly £4,000 a year more than the average earned by people who don’t do an apprenticeship.

The largest earnings difference is among people aged 36 to 41. Former apprentices in this age group earn an average of just under £26,000 a year, compared to just under £22,000 a year for people who didn’t do an apprenticeship.

People who complete apprenticeships are also more likely to progress in the workplace: 28% of them now hold management positions and a further 15% are in supervisory roles. By comparison, only 25% of people who didn’t do an apprenticeship are managers and 11% are supervisors.

This is because organisations tend to keep and promote their former apprentices once they have invested in their training, the report said.

The research also reveals that more than 60% of employees who complete an apprenticeship stay with their employers for five years or more. In contrast, only 46% of people who don’t do an apprenticeship stay with their employer for that length of time.

Stephen Gardner, director of apprenticeships at the Learning and Skills Council, said: “Apprentices who complete their apprenticeship can go on to senior positions, while earning a good wage. Employers who offer apprenticeships can create a highly skilled and loyal workforce, maximising productivity and saving on expensive recruitment.”

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