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Employers failing to meet Apprenticeship demand, warns TUC

Employers are failing to provide enough Apprenticeship places for learners eager for an alternative to university, warns union TUC.

According to Scarlet Harris, the TUC’s Apprenticeships policy & campaign officer, not enough companies are following the lead of BT, which is to extend on the job training schemes after receiving 24,000 applications for the 221 places currently available.

“More large employers should follow BT’s example and consider expanding their Apprenticeship schemes,” said Ms Harris.

“Companies employing 500-plus employees provide 16 per cent of the total employment, yet offer only five per cent of Apprenticeship places overall. Large employers are providing only three Apprenticeship places for every 1,000 16 to 24-year- olds they employ.

“The Government has said that it is putting an extra £150 million into apprentices, but the Apprenticeships system will only be a success if employers are willing to take them on.”

She added: “Apprenticeships are not a second-best route for those who have failed to achieve in the academic world – or have failed to get a university place. What we are pushing for – and I think the Government is as well – is that they are seen as a valued route in themselves.”

Jason Rainbow

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