Employers should take advantage of the government apprenticeship funding scheme to offset training costs, according to the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.
In its member magazine, the professional body points to the changes in apprenticeship funding due to come into effect in spring next year as a good opportunity for employers to take youngsters under their wing.
It added it is irresponsible to suggest that a university education “is a guaranteed fast-pass to the top".
“That’s a negligible £1 a week extra over the course of 40 years. In some areas, such as arts and humanities subjects, the earning potential of apprentices actually outstripped that of graduates by as much as 270 per cent,” it said.
Simon Culhane, Cisi chief executive, said many employers are already rethinking their recruitment process by either reallocating some positions traditionally earmarked for graduates, or by increasing the scale of their existing apprenticeships scheme.
He added: “Having a protected apprenticeship framework in place, as overseen by an Institute of Apprenticeships, will present an opportunity for individuals from all backgrounds to access a rewarding, professional career. It will also sharpen the competition among universities, which will need to ensure that their programmes of study are relevant and competitive.”
Paul Lindfield, director of wealth management at Manchester based Sedulo Wealth Management, said: “We see value in running an apprenticeship scheme. You can shape and mould apprentices into what you want. They do not come with bad work practices or a poor work ethic from a previous employer. Apprenticeship schemes are not always a success, but I would say they are successful nine out of ten times."