• Over half of parents disagree that a university education beats an apprenticeship for achieving faster career success
  • Despite the wide range of apprenticeship opportunities on offer, worries about pay remain as two out of three parents believe apprentices are poorly paid

Parents are increasingly recognising that apprenticeships can give their children the chance of embarking on a successful career although worries about low wages remain, according to new research from Prudential1.

Its study among parents of pupils who completed major school exams this summer shows that 51 per cent disagree that graduates are more likely to achieve faster career success than apprentices, and just one in four (26 per cent) say apprenticeships do not offer the best career path.

The Prudential study underlines how attitudes are changing – the survey also shows that 51 per cent of parents disagree that apprenticeships are best suited to those considered to be non-academic.

However, worries about low wages remain and more than two out of three (67 per cent) parents think apprenticeship roles are poorly paid while 43 per cent believe that apprenticeship opportunities are often in lower-skilled and lower-paid industries.

Neither of these issues is necessarily the case – Government data shows that wages for apprentices start at £3.30 an hour for under 19s or those in the first year of an apprenticeship, and rise in line with age2. But 92 per cent of employers are willing to pay more than the typical apprenticeship wage, provided they’re matched with the right candidate3. Apprenticeships4 are available in 1,500 different job roles across more than 170 industries, from advertising to youth work and from environmental engineering to legal work.

Simon Moffatt, human resources director at Prudential’s insurance business in the UK, said: “Apprenticeships offer an excellent introduction to the world of work and increasingly parents are recognising that university is not the only route to career success after school.

“As university education becomes more expensive, many apprentices realise that the prospect of good longer-term employment opportunities offsets a potentially lower initial pay structure.

“While pay is important in any job, with apprenticeship schemes part of the attraction is gaining excellent on-the-job training with future job and career progression.”

The Prudential apprenticeship scheme pays the National Living Wage and offers a high quality training programme, allowing apprentices to achieve a recognised vocational qualification as well as all-important work-based skills and experience.


The insurer’s scheme offers placements in a wide range of areas in the company, including  IT, HR, customer services, operations, sales support, distribution, financial planning, communications and marketing. Positions are available in Prudential’s offices in London, Reading and Stirling.


To date, Prudential has recruited over 175 young people into its high quality, work-based training programme, which is based on a 12-month contract. Over the last two years around two-thirds of Prudential’s apprentices have been retained by the company in ongoing roles.