Up to 120 teenagers are competing for each job with Britain’s biggest companies as more school leavers shun university amid fears over rising debt levels, it emerged today.
Figures show a dramatic increase in the number of 17 and 18-year-olds applying directly to the workplace just as the cap on annual tuition fees almost triples to £9,000.
Employers such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Network Rail, Marks & Spencer, KPMG, Laing O’Rourke and Deloitte reported strong interest in A-level entry jobs.
One website set up to allow students to access alternatives to traditional degrees reported a 50 per cent surge in demand from teenagers.
The disclosure comes just days before around 300,000 sixth-formers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive their A-level results.
Students starting university for the first time this summer will be the first to pay up to £9,000 a year for a degree.