Apprenticeships ‘increasingly attractive to middle-classes’

Nick Boles, the new Skills Minister, says apprenticeships are increasingly being seen as equal in value to university degrees as it emerges that up to 100 teenagers are chasing each post this year

Rising numbers of middle-class teenagers are considering on-the-job training courses because university is no longer seen as the only way to “get ahead” in life, according to the Skills Minister.

An overhaul of apprenticeships in recent years – creating more positions in respected jobs such as financial services, engineering and computing – is starting to put work-based training on a par with traditional three-year degrees, said Nick Boles.

Speaking days before the publication of this year’s A-level results, he said every school leaver should go into higher education or take an apprenticeship as a path into a decent career.

The comments were made as research showed that up to 100 teenagers are now competing for every training place as major employers compete with universities to recruit the brightest teenagers.

Figures obtained by the Telegraph showed that Marks & Spencer had around 3,000 applications for 30 trainee manager positions – apprenticeships open to school leavers with the equivalent of two A-levels.

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