For many students the traditional route from school to university could be the wrong one.
While many learners have been told that a university degree is the ‘gold standard’ qualification, school leavers who take up an apprenticeship are likely to earn more than those who end up attending non-elite universities.
Those school leavers who haven’t achieved the grades to go to a Russell Group university (24 ‘elite’ universities) are likely to earn £52,000 more as an apprentice during their lifetime than peers who attended lower tier universities.
As East Kent College works alongside local businesses to identify skills shortages, many of the courses and apprenticeships are also in areas which have plenty of demand for workers.
The construction sector is one, with the average worker witnessing their wage rise far faster than most other professionals. In Thanet the daily wage for a bricklayer is up to £180 – double the average salary in the area. And without new people taking apprenticeships, the demand will only grow. The Chartered Institute of Building said last year that by 2018 around 182,000 new construction jobs would need filling – last year just 7,280 young people completed a construction apprenticeship.
It’s a growing area, and one which could lead to greater prosperity than the ‘traditional’ academic route.