Levels of Success by Dr Philip Kirby looks at the earning potential of apprenticeships versus degrees, finding that the very best apprenticeships (at level 5) result in greater lifetime earnings than degrees from non-Russell Group universities. But, significant reform of the system is needed. There are not enough of these best apprenticeships, with most being at level 2 (GCSE) and level 3 (A-level) standard.
- Government, employers and other providers should work together to provide more advanced and higher apprenticeships.
- Level 3 should become the norm for young people through automatic progression from level 2.
- The Careers and Enterprise Company should promote apprenticeships further.
- The government should launch a bigger apprenticeships awareness campaign.
- Gender and socio-economic inequalities within the apprenticeship sector need to be reduced.
- The government should reform and simplify the vocational qualification system.