27% of graduates earning less than apprentices

New research from the Office of National Statistics has found that over a quarter of university graduates are earning less than school leavers on apprenticeships.

The figures found that between April and June last year, 27% of graduate employees were paid less than the average £11.10 per hour earned by non-graduates with an apprenticeship.

However, the average graduate pay of £15.18 an hour was higher than that of apprentices, and they were 4% more likely to be employed.

The research was commissioned by Labour former minister Frank Field. He 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 levels of debt, more than a quarter of them now work in part-time roles earning lower wages than workers with an apprenticeship under their belt.

“Politicians need to sit up and take note of these shifting patterns. We need to encourage more young people to think hard about the best ways of achieving their goals in life.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.”