Apprenticeship numbers are falling not rising

While government might still try and play a ‘numbers game,’ our research argues that on the contrary, apprenticeships are running out of steam, because employers don’t really need them. [ Martin Allen and Patrick Ainley]

Education, Economy and Society

 The Guardian  (01/12/14) has carried a story about apprenticeships going to workers over 25 rather than to young people and  claiming that 350 000 of the UK’s 851 000 apprentices are  25+   www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/nov/30/hundreds-thousands-apprentices-in-uk-paid-little-2-73

 Although large numbers of  existing employees are still being reclassified as ‘apprentices’ this report is only partially correct. You get a more accurate indication of the age breakdown of apprentices by looking at the statistics for the number of apprenticeship starts rather than those for current participants. 

As our research shows, there is now a far greater proportion of young people starting apprenticeships, while the number of 25+’s starting has fallen from 230 000 to 157 000 over the year. The ‘blip’ in adult recruitment onto apprenticeships in recent years was partly to do with the transfer of Train to Gain funding, though (as our research also shows) there was also overt profiteering by training providers.  Having said that, the number…

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