Boris’ apprenticeship programme is failing young people

Time is running out for the mayor to reach his target


Government statistics have shown that between April 2012 and June 2014, only 96,500 apprenticeships were started in London. This marks a failure for Boris Johnson’s apprenticeship programme, which promised to deliver 250,000 by May 2016.

Labour’s London Assembly economic spokesperson Fiona Twycross has accused the programme of ‘utterly failing young people’. In addition to the low delivery, statistics show that 44 per cent of apprenticeships went to people over the age of 25, a result of government changes which reclassified some in-work training schemes as apprenticeships.

According to a recent report from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, 93 per cent of apprentices over the age of 25 already worked for their employer prior to starting an ‘apprenticeship’ under the new system. The charity Edge Foundation described the system as ‘deadweight – that is, subsidies for training that would have happened anyway.’

Fiona Twycross AM said:

“Boris Johnson has a vast mountain to climb if he is going to come anywhere near delivering the quarter of a million apprenticeships he promised Londoners by 2016.

“Even with those apprenticeships which are being created, almost half of them are going to people over 25 years old and already in work. Whilst it’s important to support people to develop their careers, this approach leaves the apprenticeship programme utterly failing young people.

“The government’s gerrymandering of the apprenticeship system has meant in-work training which would have happened anyway is gobbling up the limited subsidies. This is locking out young people desperately seeking an apprenticeship to give them a first step on the career ladder.”

The findings coincide with the beginning of National Apprenticeship Week in the UK, which Nick Clegg announced in a video message last week. The deputy prime minister praised business who take on apprentices, and said that ‘since 2010, more than 2 million young people have set out to achieve their dreams through an apprenticeship.’

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter 

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4 Responses to “Boris’ apprenticeship programme is failing young people”

  1. jeremycraigweston

    Since these wretched apprenticeships, (so called are simply yet another form of commercial exploitation,) so their failure is actually a damn good thing.

    They should always pay at least the minimum wage; otherwise as is happening already all over country, they are simply a way for cynical and unscrupulous employers to circumvent the minimum wage and replace paid workers with more government sponsored, (and taxpayer,) subsidized forced labour schemes that prey upon and exploit unemployed young people.

    The only other people who benefit, (financially,) are the commercial service providers, (AVANTA, G4S, A4e, SERCO and their rotten ilk; all the usual suspects with the same well documented track records of fraud and criminality,) are the scum who run and operate these scams.

  2. DRbilderburg

    Johnson carrying on the work of New Labour. No doubt if new labour limp through the door of no 10 in May they’ll move the deckchairs slightly, call it’s replacement a resounding success, and quote some figures put out by the institute for Government to prove it

  3. Guest

    Oh right, they won’t make all apprenticeships free and draft peons. Yada yada.

  4. Faerieson

    Justifiable anger, Jeremy, but such antics are exactly what we knew to expect from this government. The recession has, it seems, served as the ‘perfect’ screen, behind which to re-feudalise the nation.

    Is it disappointment, anger, or simply despair, that we should feel towards the far-too-many apologists that have allowed this to be presented as, ‘the only viable solution?’ It both saddens and still angers me, to think of how my own father used to dutifully vote for the Conservatives and then moan about the deteriorating state of the NHS, upon which he was becoming increasingly dependent.

    A Daily Mail mentality has prevailed, divided the working people of the nation, and the wider Europe, and brought about a deluded hope of a UKIP solution. God help us all!

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