Apprenticeship starts for young people fall by over 11,000 under coalition

Securing an apprenticeship is now twice as hard as getting a place at university.

Apprenticeship starts for young people have fallen by more than 11,000 since the coalition came to power and securing an apprenticeship is now twice as hard as getting a place at university.

According to new figures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the number of apprenticeship starts by under-25s has fallen by 11,324 since 2010.

House of Commons Library research has also confirmed that it is now twice as hard to get an apprenticeship as it is to get a place at university.

Labour will today use the figures to draw attention to the government’s failure on apprenticeships in a speech by Liam Byrne at City of Westminster College.

It is almost three times more difficult to win a Rolls Royce apprenticeship than a place at Oxford, two and a half times more likely that an applicant will get into Cambridge than onto the BAE apprenticeship scheme while young people have a greater chance of getting a first-class degree than getting a place on the Jaguar Landrover apprenticeship scheme, Mr Byrne will say.

He will also set out the next steps in Labour’s plan to boost apprenticeships and build a greater vocational route to degree level professional and technical skills:

“First we have to accept the big, bold principle of devolution for skills that Andrew Adonis has set out.

“Second we’ll give employers more control over the standards and assessment criteria for training in their sectors.

“Third, Combined Local Authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships should be tasked with drawing up the commissioning strategy for adult skills in their neck of the woods.”

The changes will help “equip” a new generation of businesses and workers with the skills and qualifications to “unlock a middle class life”, he will add.

* Apprenticeship ratios were drawn from new HoC library research examining the number of applicants via apprenticeship.co.uk, the government’s online apprenticeship hub compared to apprebticeship starts. This showed a ratio of approximately 11:1. University application is drawn from UCAS online application service. For figures see here.

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