TOO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE “SHOE-HORNED” INTO UNI DEGREES THAT DON’T PAY OFF, SAYS LABOUR MP
A quarter of graduates are earning less than apprentices, according to new figures.
New research from the Office of National Statistics has found that 27% of graduate employees were paid less than the average £11.10 per hour earned by non-graduates with an apprenticeship, according to a survey carried out between April and June last year.
However, there was some good news. 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, who 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.”
Graduate Fog has previously noted that big employers seem increasingly interested in hiring school-leavers without a degree (see our story Employers snub graduates in favour of apprentices). While it’s encouraging that the average salary is more for graduates than those young people who did not go to university – reflecting the investment of time, work and money they have put in to their degree – the figures are still worrying. How can it be that more than a quarter of graduates are earning less than the average apprentice? Is it time we started helping young people to become more informed about what a degree will – and won’t – get them? How can we help young people make smarter decisions about their future?
*WAS YOUR DEGREE WORTH IT?
Are you surprised that a quarter of non-graduates are earning more than graduates? Do you think your decision to go to university was the right one – or do you wish you’d left school and gone straight into work, or done an apprenticeship? Who advised you to go to university – and were you offered any alternatives?