As of the academic year 2021/22, students are forecasted to have an average debt of £45,800 coming out of higher education (source: Commons Library) with only a 20% of students expected to pay back their debt in full. Add that onto happiness among the UK's young adults hitting a 13-year low (source: The Prince's Trust/ONS), and it is evident that attitudes towards higher education needs drastic action.

With 15% of GCSE students falling into the category of being ‘highly test anxious' (Putwain & Daly), it is clear that the there is a significant number of pupils and young adults who are being negatively affected by our current exam-based educational pipeline.

In an effort to combat this, award-winning vegan bar and restaurant chain Stem & Glory founder, and university drop out, Louise Palmer-Masterton has launched their highly anticipated Degree Apprenticeship Scheme to give alternative routes through higher education for more practically minded young adults.

"To say there is a need for more opportunities for this group of young people is a massive understatement. The exam-based curriculums that led me to leaving university, are still plaguing students who are less geared towards tests or suffer from learning disabilities."

The Degree Apprenticeship Scheme has proved a smash hit with over 200 applications for the 3 posts being advertised, demonstrating a real hunger for alternative pathways into the workforce. This success has led the company to announce they will be launching 6 more Degree Apprenticeship Schemes across their business, while urging others to do the same.

The program will see apprentices join the Stem & Glory team across their Cambridge and London branches, balancing employment and study for 3 years before being awarded a BA in Business Management.

Funded entirely by the government and the company, the scheme will not cost apprentices anything and will in fact see them earn a salary, providing a radical and practical alternative to incurring the massive debt that so heavily weighs on young people today.

The Degree Apprenticeship Scheme also provides Stem & Glory and other businesses a practical solution to the nationwide labour shortage. With the UK workforce still recovering from the havoc wrecked by the covid-19 pandemic, and the hospitality sector particularly hit hard, there were 1.3 million vacancies as of June 2022.

This program sees companies meet with would-be workers in the middle. Despite the shortage of recruitment in junior posts across the UK hospitality industry, the Degree Apprenticeship Scheme has seen young adults flock to the opportunity with the offer of zero debt, real world experience, and a living wage to fit.