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Apprentices are the "most employable" young people

Former apprentices are outpacing their peers when it comes to being fit for the workplace, according to figures published today by ICM Research.

The study reveals employers in England rate qualified apprentices as 15% more employable than those with other qualifications.

Those who complete higher apprenticeships are the most desirable employees, with businesses rating this group as 25% more employable than those who took an alternative route into work.

The survey asked 500 employers in England to rate the employability of people with different qualifications on a scale of 1-10.

The mean of all three apprenticeships was 7.36 and the average of other qualifications 6.382 - 15% lower.

Those with a higher, degree level apprenticeship were rated most desirable at 7.98.

Those who had university degrees were rated as 7.58 in the survey.

One in six (15%) apprentices currently progresses to higher education following their apprenticeship, either at a college or a university, but with apprenticeships at bachelor and master degree levels also becoming available for the first time, the opportunities for degree-level learning while young people earn have now been significantly expanded.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: "We want apprenticeships or university to become the new norm for young people leaving school and higher apprenticeships are an excellent way to enter high-profile careers while also achieving a degree-level qualification.

Gaenor Bagley, head of people, PwC, said: "We're finding talent from wider sources than ever before. There's no doubt in our mind that for talented students who are clear about their career path and want to get straight into work, higher apprenticeships offer a real opportunity that doesn't compromise on training and development."

Last year, the Government funded 4,230 placements in the second round of a £25 million higher apprenticeships initiative.

At the time, business secretary Vince Cable said it would help sectors tackle skills shortages and boost participation by under-represented groups like women.

Head to our HRTV site to watch a video from The National Apprenticeship Service, which it aims to let employers see the benefits Apprenticeships could have to their business.