Survey says some graduates are worse off

Apprentices are earning more than some graduates, a new report has said. Pictured are apprentices Thomas Murdoch, left, and David Pitts at Darchem Engineering, in Stillington, near Stockton, with sales manager Stuart Howson

Apprentices are earning more than some graduates, a new report has said. Pictured are apprentices Thomas Murdoch, left, and David Pitts at Darchem Engineering, in Stillington, near Stockton, with sales manager Stuart Howson

First published in Business News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

MORE than a quarter of graduate employees earn less than workers who have completed an apprenticeship, figures have revealed.

A report says between April and June last year, 27 per cent of graduate employees were paid a gross hourly wage lower than the average £11.10 earned by non-graduates with an apprenticeship.

However, the Office for National Statistics analysis showed the average gross pay for graduates in the period was £15.18 an hour, and they were also slightly more likely to be in work.

Of the 12 million graduates, 10.5 million were in employment, compared to two million of the 2.5 million non-graduates with apprenticeships.

Analysis of the 40 per cent of lowest paid graduates, those earning £13.45 an hour or less, found 60 per cent were women and 26 per cent were working in part-time roles.

The research was requested by Labour former minister Frank Field, who said: “Successive generations of young people have been shoehorned into universities on the promise of improving their lifetime earnings.

“But, as well as being saddled with eye-watering debt, more than a quarter of them now work in part-time roles earning lower wages than workers with an apprenticeship under the belt.

"The Government must call for a major rethink on the present pattern of university education and set in hand a working party to take the debate on from these crucial breakthrough statistics.”

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