It follows a report from Barclays which found that apprentices can earn £117,600 more over a lifetime than those with A-levels, while graduates take home just £2,200 more than those without a degree.
Barclays said the figures showed apprentices were getting a ‘hidden pay cheque’ through ‘earn while you learn’ schemes, as graduates faced mounting levels of debt.
Hospitality on board
Apprenticeships have become increasingly popular in the hospitality industry as a means to tackle the sector’s critical staff retention problem.
Mitchells & Butlers – owner of the Harvester, Browns and All Bar One brands - is offering 1,700 UK apprenticeships this year, compared to just 50 retail graduate positions.
The company said its apprenticeship schemes had a 70 per cent retention rate, with 90 per cent of learners moving on to supervisory roles after a year.
It has also joined Pizza Hut and Starbucks by allowing students to study BA degree, which is part funded while they are earning.
Jan Smallbone, director of learning and talent development at Mitchells & Butlers, said: “We are dedicated to working with our teams to nurture this raw talent and develop them into the future managers across our businesses.”
Starbucks has committed to taking on a further 1,000 apprentices by 2020, as well as launching higher level training schemes equivalent to foundation or bachelor degrees.
Pizza Hut will enrol the first students on its BA Business Management course, delivered in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, this year.
Kathryn Austin, chief people and marketing officer at Pizza Hut Restaurants, said: “The great thing about the scheme is that it gives people the opportunity to mix academic and practical modules, providing not just a fantastic skills base in the hospitality industry but also skills for life.”
The news comes ahead of the launch of the Government's controversial apprenticeship levy next year.
Under the scheme a tax of 0.5 per cent will be imposed on businesses with a wage bill of over £3m, with the proceeds being used to fund 3m apprenticeships by 2020.
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the CEO of pub chain Oakman Inns have criticised the plans as placing a 'burden' on businesses, and warned they could decrease the quality of training.
But while the Government is welcoming views on the levy, businesses have been warned to prepare for the tax in order to fully benefit.