Report shows employers prefer apprentices over graduates

The report was commissioned by AGR and Total Jobs

The report was commissioned by AGR and Total Jobs

A recent report published from and the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) has shown how many employers would rather hire an apprentice than a graduate. Government incentives and skills shortages were highlighted as the reasons behind the shift in judgement.

Out of those surveyed, 27% thought apprenticeships to be crucial to addressing the skills gap, 25% wanted schools to teach business skills and 18% called for degrees to be more career orientated.

Mike Fetters, graduate director at, said: “With government funding available for firms that run apprenticeships, it is clear that employers are taking on and helping train entry level staff as a way of addressing a chronic shortage of skills.

“Too many of those we spoke to reported that the graduate applications they received were simply not up to standard. The organisations that needed employees with so-called STEM skills said they struggled finding enough graduates with appropriate degrees. Others said that recent university leavers lacked work experience, and the soft skill this brings. In such an environment, it is perhaps unsurprising that companies are looking to take on staff earlier to shape them for the roles required.”