Wealthiest youngsters snap up degree apprenticeships

Office for Students chief executive says more needs to be done to widen opportunities with degree apprenticeships

Young people from the most affluent areas are more likely to take up a degree apprenticeship than those from the poorest areas, the Office for Students has said

Young people from more affluent areas are more likely to take up a degree apprenticeship than those from the poorest parts of England.

Figures released by the Office for Students (OfS) show that in 2016-17, only 13 per cent of young people in degree-level apprenticeships were from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.

In the same year, 28 per cent of young people on these qualifications were from the most advantaged areas.

While the proportion of disadvantaged young people is higher in degree apprenticeships than in equivalent mainstream higher education, it is significantly smaller than in lower-level apprenticeships.


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Widening opportunities 'is vital'

The OfS said this reflects a general trend whereby the higher level the apprenticeship, the lower the percentage of disadvantaged learners it attracts.

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the OfS, said: “Degree apprenticeships have the potential to make a big difference to students and employers across the country and to give a real boost to local and regional economies. It is vital to widen opportunities for disadvantaged learners to access and succeed in degree apprenticeships, and there is further to go to encourage minority ethnic and disabled learners to follow this route.

“We need to ensure that prospective apprentices have high-quality information, advice and guidance about their options, and more generally to raise the profile and reputation of degree apprenticeships.

“Now that the groundwork has been done, we look forward to seeing further increases in the numbers of high-quality degree apprenticeships.”

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