“Research shows apprentices over 25 up from 36,000 to 121,000, but Labour says coalition is failing to focus on key skills
The analysis reveals a 10% increase in teenage apprentices this year, compared with the academic year which started in September 2009. Teenage apprentices rose from 93,700 to 102,900. There was a 21% rise in apprentices aged 19-24, from 85,100 to 102,800. But the number of apprentices aged over 25 nearly quadrupled, from 36,300 to 121,100. Youth unemployment hit record levels earlier this year, and latest figures show around 917,000 people aged 16-24 are out of work. The research, commissioned by Labour, shows that the biggest increases in apprenticeships are in health and social care and retail.
Gordon Marsden, shadow further education and skills minister, said: “For all the government’s warm words on apprenticeships, these statistics show they haven’t got to grips with the task of supporting business and creating an environment in which quality, long-term apprenticeships can flourish and support economic growth.”
The latest statistics, from the National Apprenticeship Service, show almost 90,000 employers offer apprenticeships to 491,300 workers in England. Companies hiring the most include BT, Capita Group, Tesco and McDonald’s.”
Read the article in full by Jeevan Vasagar & Jessica Shepherd by clicking here
Our View: While it is always good to see opportunities increased for people to gain qualifications whilst they are earning, it is disappointing to see that apprenticeships lasting more than a year are decreasing. We wonder about the quality (and level) of any qualifications which last less than a year and the potential impact they will have on the apprentices’ future. Are businesses being provided with the appropriate support and guidance to ensure that apprentices actually have the real chance to future their chosen career and not just be used as ‘cheap labour’? What’s your view / experience of apprenticeships? Good, bad or indifferent – we’re interested in what you have to say…..