However, a new study has shown that apprenticeships also raise the earning power of young people – they enjoy significantly higher wages over their lifetime than they would without this type of training.
The research, carried out by the Department for Education and Skills, found that wage returns to apprenticeships have increased over the last 10 years. There is further good news for female apprentices with women who have achieved NVQ level three starting to enjoy higher wages.
Di McEvoy Robinson, apprentice learning director at Carter & Carter Group, says: “Apprenticeships are the best way for young people to get on a career ladder to bring them outstanding financial rewards. Earning while learning provides a great building block for future earning potential. I’m so committed to this I’ve encouraged my own son to become an apprentice.”
A Thatcham spokesman adds: “Since our dedicated Apprentice Centre opened in 2005, Thatcham has been operating at near capacity for apprentice training. In general, however, attracting technicians into the industry remains a challenge.
“One hurdle is matching employers with potential apprentices. Thatcham’s online matching service ‘jobshop’ was created to try and bridge that gap.”
Phil Hope, Skills Minister, says: “We want more employers to offer new schemes. We have accepted Lord Leitch’s recommendation to have 400,000 apprentices in learning by 2020.”
Retailers and repairers are also taking more responsibility for getting people onto apprenticeship schemes in the first place. They are visiting local schools and speaking to careers officers to get the motor industry on their agenda. It’s starting to work.