- Tyne Tees
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Once upon a time, the word 'apprenticeship' would conjure an image of a young person learning a manual trade.
However, in the last few years there has been a huge rise in 'white collar' apprenticeships.
One of the latest companies to offer them in areas like business and administration is the software giant, and ITV Business Club member, Sage.
So do these new apprenticeships make university degrees irrelevant?
Our Business Correspondent Ben Chapman found out.
Watch his full report below.
David Milstead turned down a place at university to join the software giant Sage, which has become the latest big firm in the North East to hire apprentices.
The number of people choosing apprenticeships in business and administration has increased in the last four years, at a time when university tuition fees are rising.
The region's only FTSE 100 company has joined a growing number of firms that are offering apprenticeships to young people.
The software giant Sage has taken on eleven apprentices, in a climate where young people are increasingly choosing either to apply directly for an apprenticeship rather than a university degree - or in some cases are turning down a place at university to sign up for apprenticeships.
The number of people choosing so-called 'white collar' apprenticeships has more than tripled in the last four years, at a time when rising tuition fees are deterring many young people from continuing in higher education.
A new report has concluded that apprenticeships must be on equal footing with university degrees.
As the latest NEET figures are released today, a new study has highlighted the role apprenticeships play in getting school and college leavers into work.
Industry experts are calling upon the government today to give a greater priority to and focus on vocational courses over university degrees, after a major report revealed that apprenticeships could result in comparable earnings to a university graduate.
Whilst 44% of graduates are predicted to be either underemployed or unemployed six months after leaving full time education, the report reveals that just 4.5% of those with Level 4 vocational qualifications are unemployed.