From education to employment

Traineeships: “A Great ‘U’ Turn”.

SOCIAL entrepreneur Safaraz Ali, believes that the Government decision to end traineeship from August could mean a shake up for many training providers.

This is the reaction of Safaraz, who is chief executive and founder of national employability and skills provider the Pathway Group.

“Traineeships have been promoted as a flagship in the past by the Government, so this decision is in many ways perplexing,” said Safaraz.

The Association of Learning of Employment Learning Providers say that traineeships have been a success, with 75 per cent of those taking then going on to further study, take on a job or an apprenticeship within 12 months.

Launched in 2013 as a flagship project, traineeships reached its peak 2015 with 24,000 starts but this has fallen away dramatically.

In 2020/21 there were 15,500 starts, just over a third of the target. The Government has pumped significant funding into the initiative with £126 million for traineeships and £111 million for pre-employment training in 2021/22.

However, in 2020/21, £65 million went back to Government, more than half the allocated budget.

Skills Minister Robert Halfon says that the poor take-up level is the main reason for the scraping of traineeships and that it makes more sense to integrate it into 16-19 study programmes and the non-devolved education budget.

The Minister believes that the needs of different areas is catered by the ability of Mayors in places with devolved powers to make decisions.

Safaraz Ali states: “This is a surprise decision given the importance Government has placed in traineeships and I understand the concerns to training providers but we have to see how it pans out.”

Safaraz Ali, Founder & CEO of Pathway Group

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