Here are the 40 wealthiest ex-apprentices

Jessica Morris
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David Beckham is one of the wealthiest ex-apprentices (Source: Getty)

Anyone who wants to be rich is typically told to go to university, but apprenticeships can offer another route, with a number of ex-apprentices making it to the top of their trade and becoming multi-millionaires in the process.

As demand for skilled workers rising - to the extent that some can ask employers for higher starting salaries - apprenticeships are becoming an ever-important foothold into today's highly skilled economy.

The coalition government has ramped up the number of apprenticeships available to people in the UK. While it expects 300,000 apprenticeships to be created this financial year, the figure will rise to 400,000 for 2014-15.

Apprenticeships have been touted as a way of getting more young people into employment, but they're open to all ages. Barclays recently announced the launch of a training programme specifically designed for the over-50s.

About one in five university graduates go on to become millionaires (based on their assets, although the figures don't account for household debts) according to the Office for National Statistics. And Where Do CEOs Come From says that a whooping 92 per cent of chief execs hold a degree.

But piling onto the apprenticeship bandwagon is another way of netting a considerable fortune in years to come. JCB chairman, Lord Bamford, topped the list with a net worth of £3.6bn at equipment manufacturer Massey Ferguson.

Here's the full list by with the Association of Accounting Technicians ahead of National Apprenticeship Week (9-13 March) showing other successful people whose apprenticeships put them on the path to success:

Apprentice Rich List RankingNameApprenticeship typeWealth £mSource of wealth
1Lord Bamfordapprentice at Massey Ferguson£3,150construction equipment
2Laurence Graffapprentice jeweller£3,000diamonds
3John Caudwellengineering apprentice£1,500mobile phones
4Sir Terry MatthewsPost Office Research apprentice£1,190computers
5 =Jim McCollapprentice engineer£1,000engineering
5 =Vladimir Makhlaiturner's apprentice£1,000industry
7John Bloorapprentice plasterer£750construction, motorcycles
8Sir Arnold Clarkapprentice shoe designer£675car sales
9Lord Allianceapprenticed into Grand Bazaar in Tehran£650mail order, textiles
10Trevor Hemmingsbricklayer's apprentice£625property
11Michael Oliverapprentice engineer£608engineering
12Sir Daid McMurtryapprentice machinist & fitter£559engineering
13Jack Tordoffapprentice mechanic£353car sales
14Michael Oglesbyapprentice plumber£325property
15Dean Hoyleengineering apprentice£284greeting cards
16John Deerengineering apprentice£268engineering
17David Hoodapprentice at hi-fi manufacturer£265aviation, electronics
18 =Ron Dennisapprentice mechanic£260motor racing
18 =Clinton McCarthyapprentice carpenters / joiners£260construction
20Lord Bagriapprentice metal trader£250metals
21Jamie OliverWestminster Catering College; catering apprentice£240food, media
22Peter Dawsonengineering apprenticeship£216trucks
23 =David BeckhamYouth Training Scheme (Football)£210fashion, football
23 =Lord Haugheyair conditioning and refrigeration apprentice£210refrigeration
25Mark Constantineapprentice hairdresser£204cosmetics
26Ringo Starrapprenticeship at Liverpool equipment manufacturer£170music
27 =Rodger Duddingnaval engineering apprentice£160property
27 =Tommy Dreelanheating, ventilation & plumbing apprentice£160oil services
29Kenneth Townsleyairline traffic officer apprentice£158travel
30 =John Friedaapprentice hairdresser£150hairdressing
30 =Eric Claptonapprentice stained glass design£150music
32Stewart Milneapprentice electrician£135construction
33 =Ozzy Osbourneapprentice toolmaker£130music
33 =Marcus Margulieswatch factory apprentice£130watches
35Sir Tom Farmergarage apprentice£128property, car parts
36Ted FortRolls Royce apprentice£110engineering
37 =Ross Brawnapprentice mechanical engineer£100motor racing
37 =Larry Kinchapprentice instrument engineer£100oil, gas services
39George Mooreapprentice joinery craftsman£95furniture
40Andrew Thorpeapprentice at FW Thorpe£90lighting

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