Rising university tuition costs drive up apprenticeship demand

Rising university tuition fees and living costs have made more school leavers consider apprenticeships. In 2023, a remarkable 430,000 students expressed their interest in apprenticeship opportunities via UCAS—a staggering 180% increase since 2021.


Susan Billington, National Account Manager at Educ8 Training Group, shares insights on the changing landscape of further education for school leavers.


“An average student debt for tuition fees alone is £27,750 for a three-year degree. Cost consideration is a big part of decision-making for school leavers and their parents and the shift is more apparent with rising inflation and living costs.”


She continues, “Apprenticeships offer fantastic career opportunities allowing learners to earn while they learn. Learners can avoid accumulating massive debt while at the same time equipping themselves with practical skills and industry connections.”


An impressive 91% of apprentices go on to secure employment or further their studies after completing their training.


“There is not enough awareness about apprenticeships to young people leaving school. My apprenticeship has helped my confidence so much already. My advice to young people would be – if you want to earn a wage while learning, an apprenticeship may be what you need. I would recommend more young people leaving school to consider an apprenticeship.” Says Eleri Page who is a Social Media for Business Apprentice with Educ8 Training Group.


As salary growth lags behind inflation and the cost of living rises, many employees are opting to enhance their skills via apprenticeships, which paves the way for improved career prospects.


“I joined Educ8 Training Group as an Account Manager almost seven years ago. Since then, I’ve successfully completed three apprenticeships. These qualifications not only equipped me with the essential skills for advancing in my career, but also provided a significant boost to my confidence.” Susan commented.


And Mitchell Hughes, an Advice and Guidance apprentice notes: “When I started the apprenticeship, I already worked for Mind as a Homelessness Intervention Project Worker. I’d only been in post for a short time with little experience in the housing sector. The apprenticeship was offered to me to gain an understanding of dealing with clients and increase my skills. As the modules were linked to my work, I soon started to use my new skills in my job. Straight away I noticed how much my skills had improved. I felt more comfortable with clients when using the structured approaches I’d learnt from the apprenticeship.”


The surge in demand for apprenticeships in specific fields, including digital marketing and leadership management, such as the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), is evidence that both employers and employees are capitalising on apprenticeships to improve performance, retain staff and reduce recruitment costs.