Having point blank refused the idea of working for my old man for a couple of years, a family business ended up becoming a reality. As the large majority of my mates went off to Uni, I embarked on a Bromley College run Apprenticeship.
Whilst I would have preferred the social side of uni in terms of the nightlife and friendship, I feel a degree may not have been as useful as time in the working world getting experience and simply trying to absorb as much as possible. The independence I’ve had has a price, mainly in the form of how many exams there are to pass in order to qualify as a Financial Adviser, personally it is worth it. This versus the idea of tuition fees being £27,000 just for starters meant my mind was made.
So seeing as I’ve set myself the task of representing the interests of the Younger Investor I’ve been doing some very basic research concerning which route on average – uni vs apprentice - does better over a lifetime for earning potential. The stats are surprising. It’s pretty well known that graduates can expect to earn £100,000+ more over their lifetimes than non University goers per se. There’s now research to suggest that young people going on to study a higher apprenticeship can expect to earn an extra £150,000 over a working lifetime when compared to graduates*.
Getting paid whilst training and not having to pay back a minimum of at least £27,000 was a big incentive for me; National Apprenticeship Service research also suggests that the average university graduate has a starting salary of £14,734, whilst those completing an apprenticeship can expect a starting salary of £18, 463.** This has certainly come in handy when I have gone to visit mates at Uni as they have all certainly known how to loosen up my wallet.
*Source: Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). A report for the Association of accounting Technicians March 2014.
** National Apprenticeship Service 2014.
In the name of equality and social mobility, Government policy intends for 50% of students to have their minimum stint of 3 years away at University, however, questions can be raised over courses not being fully aligned with the UK PLC needs.
So what conclusions does this lay person come to when faced with that type of evidence?
- 1. That university is great for those wanting to go, but it is not necessarily an earning panacea.
- 2. That for many, student debt may suppress their income potential even further.
- 3. That apprentices can earn more over a lifetime compared to graduates.
- 4. That apprentices are paid as they train by organisations likely to offer them full time employment when the training is complete.
Financial advisers, as I’ve come to learn are in general of a certain age; this isn’t meant to cause offence and according to FT Adviser the average age of an individual adviser is 58. This has resulted in an under-representation for the Young Investor and therefore represents a huge opportunity for advisers as graduates will now need to cope with a much larger debt than previously at the same time as looking to make savings, investments and climb onto the first rung of the property ladder.
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