From education to employment

Government meets ‘two million Apprenticeships’ promise

Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced the government has fulfilled its promise to start two million Apprenticeships in this Parliament.

To mark the occasion, Mr Cable met the two millionth apprentice, Paige McConville, who began her Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture with engineering firm FMB Oxford in August.

“Reaching the two millionth Apprenticeship is testament to this government’s commitment to Apprenticeships,” he said.

“Paige and her employer are a shining example of how Apprenticeships give young people the chance to start a career and give businesses the talent to grow.”

Katerina Rüdiger, head of skills and policy campaigns at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), said it was encouraging to see the number of employers recognising Apprenticeships as a valuable route into the labour market.

However, she also warned that Apprenticehsips are still not a “game-changer” in the world of work.

“Every day, employers are creating new opportunities across a broad range of industries but there is still a low awareness of schemes, particularly amongst young people and parents,” said Ms Rüdiger.

“According to CIPD research, 40% of Apprenticeships currently receive just five or fewer applications and only 15% of parents say that they have received enough information on apprenticeship schemes.

“A further challenge lies in the unwarranted but enduring perception that Apprenticeships are ‘second-rate’ to a university experience when it comes to entering the workplace; in fact, the ratio of young people applying for higher apprenticeships versus university degrees is still only one in every ninety. In their efforts to prepare young people for future careers, schools and colleges need to be actively promoting apprenticeships alongside university education as an equal and valuable route into the world of work.”

Natalie Thornhill

(Pictured: Business Secretary Vince Cable)


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