A study from the University of Greenwich has found that one in eight young people with an Advanced Level Apprenticeship has moved on to higher education. This figure is more than double the amount previously estimated.

Hugh Joslin and Sharon Smith took into account every Advanced Level Apprentice since 2006. The study, which followed the career paths of more than 150,000 apprentices, detailed their backgrounds, the universities they opted for, and the subjects that they chose to study.

The researchers found that candidates from disadvantaged areas were more likely to reach higher education through an apprenticeship, than through other routes. They also found that the amount of young people successfully completing Advanced Level Apprenticeships has increased by 36 per cent during the last four years.

The findings will be officially presented at the Apprentices and Progression: Policy, Evidence and Practice conference, which is to be held in association with the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills and the National Apprenticeship Service.

“The research shows a promising rise in the numbers of apprentices progressing to higher education,” said co-author of the paper, Hugh Joslin, from the Centre for Work Based Learning at the University of Greenwich. “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,” he added.

“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,” said Professor David Maguire, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich.

“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.”