One in eight young people with an Advanced Level Apprenticeship has gone into higher education, according to figures unveiled at the University of Greenwich today.

The research also found that the number of young people finishing an Advanced Level Apprenticeship has risen by 36% in the last four years.

John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills & Lifelong Learning, said: “This research shows that we are making good progress, but I’m determined to do more.

“I’ll continue to reshape and upgrade the apprenticeships programme so that more apprentices have the opportunity to progress into higher levels of learning.”

The research followed the career paths of every Advanced Level Apprentice since 2006, creating a final database of more than 150,000 vocational learners.

Professor David Maguire, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich, said: “This is an extraordinary piece of research which shines a light on an important group of students whose abilities, needs and ambitions are not always fully understood.

“Apprenticeships can be a great way for young people to develop the higher level skills that the nation needs. Helping them into higher education demands that universities work in new ways, offering more flexible and part-time courses for example, but our experience indicates that this can reap great rewards in terms of realising the potential of a generation of young people.”

The figures were unveiled at a conference called ‘Apprentices and Progression: Policy, Evidence and Practice’, and was a chance for employers, educators and policy-makers to discuss how young people can be supported from apprenticeships to university and higher level skills.

Hugh Joslin, co-author of the research paper, said: “The research shows a promising rise in the numbers of apprentices progressing to higher education. There is still more to be done however to develop clear work-based learning pathways like Higher Apprenticeships, which can provide alternative routes to degrees and the professions. ”

An Advanced Level Apprenticeship combines paid, on-the-job training, with college study to complete a qualification which is broadly equivalent to A-levels.

A full written report will be published in the next edition of FE Week, out on November 7.

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