The TES is reporting warnings from the shadow FE and skills minister that the government’s ambitious plans to expand the apprenticeship programme could be thwarted by the “pitiful” take-up of traineeships.
Traineeships were introduced in 2013 to equip young people with the skills required to progress into an apprenticeship or employment. However, recent statistics from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) suggest that the government has found it difficult to grow the programme. The number of traineeship starts in 2014-15 was 19,400, compared with 499,900 apprenticeship starts in the same period.
And new figures reveal that the number of traineeship vacancies advertised on the official apprenticeships website has dropped by 9 per cent, from 2,300 between August and October 2014 to 2,100 in the same period 12 months on. In contrast, the number of traineeship applicants actually rose in 2015-2016.
Last week, the government announced new measures to allow more providers to offer traineeships, which it claimed had made an “excellent start”.
Previously, only providers rated good or outstanding by Ofsted were eligible, but that restriction will be removed in August 2016. A new campaign to promote traineeships and apprenticeships were also unveiled. But Labour’s shadow skills minister Gordon Marsden told TES that a lack of awareness about traineeships was a major factor behind the low number of learners on the scheme.
“They were not well understood so take-up has been rather pitiful,” he said. “I am not surprised at the figures because how they introduced it was completely cock-eyed…
More (including a response from BIS) at: ‘Pitiful’ figures cast doubt over apprenticeship target
Read or download the Government’s apprenticeship strategy (published last week):
Are you clear on the role of traineeships or even aware of their existence?
More broadly, do you share concerns about the way the government’s vision for apprenticeships is being executed or do you see progress being made?
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