Graduates ‘earn less than apprentices’

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More than a quarter of graduate employees earn less than workers who have completed an apprenticeship, official figures show.

The figures showed that between April and June last year, 27 per cent of graduate employees were paid a gross hourly wage that was lower than the average £11.10 earned by non-graduates with an apprenticeship under their belt.

But the Office for National Statistics analysis showed that the average gross pay for graduates in the period was £15.18 an hour, and they were also slightly more likely to be in work. Of the 12 million graduates, 10.5 million (87 per cent) were in employment, compared with two million (83 per cent) of the 2.5 million non-graduates with apprenticeships.

Analysis of the 40 per cent of lowest paid graduates, those earning £13.45 an hour or less, found 60 per cent were women and 26 per cent were working in part-time roles.

Labour former Minister Frank Field, who requested the analysis, urged the Government to have a “major rethink on the present pattern of university education”.