National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) 2024 is the 17th annual celebration of apprenticeships.

The week brings together everyone passionate about apprenticeships to celebrate the value, benefit and opportunity that they bring.

The theme for this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is “Skills for Life”.

Everyone is encouraged to consider how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and employers to develop a workforce with future ready skills.

One route which is becoming increasingly popular is degree apprenticeships.

It is estimated that by the age of 21, degree apprentices can be £100,000 better off than those who chose to study at university.

Robert Halfon, the minister for skills and higher education, said: “Degree apprenticeships offer a route into a career for those who want an alternative to a traditional undergraduate degree.

“They offer valuable workplace experience and the chance to earn a wage whilst studying for a degree at one of our fantastic universities.”

This year’s National Apprenticeship Week will highlight courses as diverse as space engineering, law, social work and surveying.

With Britain facing acute skills shortages in key areas, degree apprenticeships are already playing an important role.

Vivienne Stern, chief executive of Universities UK, said: “Degree apprenticeships have proven to be successful due to their joint development between employers and universities and the fact they enable students to learn while they earn. With further collaboration between the government, the higher education sector and employers, degree apprenticeships can play a key role in plugging the skills gap in the UK.”

About 100 institutions offer the courses and 95 per cent of degree-level apprentices go on to sustained employment. Industry leaders including Goldman Sachs, BAE Systems, AstraZeneca, Deloitte, BT, Amazon, EY and the NHS all offer apprenticeships.

Companies say they benefit students, their families and firms by providing a generation of work-ready, motivated and highly skilled employees. They also offer social mobility for those less able to afford high student costs.

Such is the demand that the government is investing £40 million over the next two years to enable higher education providers to offer more degree apprenticeships and will increase overall investment in apprenticeships to £2.7 billion by 2025.