From education to employment

Government scraps Young Apprenticeship programme

SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure and Learning, has criticised plans announced by the government today to scrap its popular Young Apprenticeship (YA) programme.

The decision to cease funding for the 14-16 scheme follows the publication of Professor Alison Wolf’s independent review of vocational qualifications, which criticised the efficacy of the YA programme.

However, SkillsActive chief executive Stephen Studd argues the report is “questionable and potentially flawed”, pointing to the continuous success of its programme following its launch in September 2005.

Since then, more than 2,000 young people have successfully completed a YA, and more than 2,000 14-16 year olds are currently completing the programme.

The government’s decision will mean none of the 1,000 young people signed up to start in September will be able to begin the YA, according to SkillsActive.

Mr Studd warned the cancellation will “deprive young people of an invaluable experience that would have built their self esteem, given them a grounding in crucial leadership and employability skills”.

He continued: “We would have been, and still are, open to discussion with the Department for Education about how the YA could have been amended to fit their new priorities, rather than abandoned altogether.”

Louis Mitrunen

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