Why employers will benefit from marketing apprenticeships to graduates

  • Emma Finamore
  • 29 November 2018

Research indicates that the word "apprenticeships" could still be loaded with stigma, and that simply rebranding programmes with different titles could increase school leavers’ interest in taking them up.

In reality, marketing Higher and Degree Apprenticeships at soon-to-be or recent graduates should be the next step for recruiters. But if your business is still part of the 70% not doing this, you should be aware of the value graduates can add—in apprenticeship roles as well as graduate jobs.


Firstly, graduates come with a detailed academic record of the past three years, so you have a good sense of their ability to fulfil the strain of the apprenticeship. Graduates will already be used to university-level study and exams, so will effectively balance on-the-job and off-the-job learning.


Having spent several years in a university environment, graduates are also at a mature point in their education and should have a good idea of what they want out of their career. A graduate applicant for a Degree Apprenticeship will have arrived at that option after considering many others, including graduate jobs and further study. It’s likely that they’ve decided on a Degree Apprenticeship after careful consideration.


Finally, recruiters know full well that some roles can be hard to fill. Broadening the scope of your apprenticeship marketing to include graduates as well as school leavers will introduce more applicants into the fold, and will increase your chances of finding the right person for that role.


As Higher and Degree Apprenticeships become better understood by school leavers, their appeal has risen—even among those who are considering going to university. Over 38% of school leavers surveyed in 2018 by AllAboutResearch said they would do an apprenticeship after completing a university degree.


Additionally, soon-to-be graduates who know about apprenticeships are noticing the appeal of them. Over 47% of graduates would consider doing an apprenticeship after completing university: almost half of graduates. The appeal is obvious: doing an apprenticeship provides the chance to build a close relationship with an employer; they can network within the company and undergo role-specific training; and the costs of the degree are paid in full by the employer.


But the key takeaway is that students believe that an apprenticeship can work in addition to a graduate degree, rather than instead of it—and employers should respond by including these prospective candidates in their marketing efforts.


Top Insights


  • Over 47% of graduates would consider doing an apprenticeship after completing university.
  • 30% of employers are now marketing Higher and Degree Apprenticeships graduates—we predict this will be mainstream within 24 months.
  • Broadening the scope of your apprenticeship marketing to include graduates will attract a higher quality of applicant and increase your chances of finding the right person for that role.
  • One of the most effective methods of extending your marketing efforts towards graduates is by meeting them face-to-face.
  • A great way to do this is via insight events for undergraduates.


It might be that you’re already hosting insight events about graduate schemes—take this one step further by including apprenticeships. Undergraduates will be able to explore their options at your company side-by-side, considering the benefits and drawbacks of graduate schemes and apprenticeships on the same day.


Organising insight days such as this is our forte—we’re already doing it for employers across the UK and can even help to pre-screen the students for you.