From education to employment

Last year’s apprenticeship completion rate put UK among best in Europe


Despite recent adverse publicity, independent training providers have welcomed today’s record apprenticeship success rates as a clear indicator that the apprenticeship programme has been a success.

Training providers, who deliver more than 70% of apprenticeships in England, have been at the forefront of the drive to improve the quality of leaning for apprentices and the level of service for employer customers.

Figures demonstrate their worthy efforts, with the overall completion rate for 2010-2011 measured as 76.4%. This is a dramatic increase of 17.4% from 2006-7.

More specifically, 160,300 16-24 year olds completed a programme in 2010-11, which was a 16.8% increase on the previous year.

Training leaders also welcomed the increase in success rates for advanced and higher apprenticeships, which allow people to work toward level three and four competence qualifications.

Graham Hoyle, AELP’s chief executive, said: “There have been some legitimate concerns raised about some ‘short-course apprenticeships’ which the authorities have dealt with swiftly, but the number of cases needing investigation in a market served by over 1,000 providers and colleges has been very small.

“The latest official statistics show that right across the board, apprenticeships are playing a key role in lifting skill levels in the UK workforce and giving thousands of young people a successful start to their careers in manufacturing and service sectors. I am confident that when they review all the evidence in their new inquiry, MPs on the BIS select committee will conclude that government funding of the apprenticeship programme is proving to be good value for money.

“Amidst all the doom and gloom surrounding the economic outlook, employers and providers deserve major credit for significantly increasing the number of apprenticeship places and for offering quality training when they have to contend with higher costs on their businesses.”

Apprenticeships and youth unemployment will be among the main themes at the AELP In-Tray conference which is taking place in Leeds today. Representatives from the National Apprenticeship Service, UKCES, SFA, Ofsted and the Young People’s Learning Agency will be among the speakers.

Stephanie Manley

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