The Government today announced plans to create an extra 100,000 apprenticeships. The initiative comes as a new report suggests that four out of five companies say they have experienced barriers to hiring apprentices, even though 89% view vocational training schemes as being key to their business success over the next two years.
The government intends to increase the funding of vocational training by an extra £222m a year to £1.4bn annually at the launch of National Apprenticeship Week today. “Some of the most prestigious companies in England – large and small, public and private – employ apprentices and benefit from doing so,” said Vince Cable announcing the initiative.
According to the report by City & Guilds, one of the UK’s largest vocational training providers, over half of those companies who already recruit apprentices believe they offer greater value than hiring university graduates.
The heart of the problem is the education system that is denying children a rich and broad learning experience with a choice of new and exciting routes to rewarding careers. They are left without basic employability skills, which is ultimately hurting British businesses and the economy as a whole.
However the news that 25% of youngsters fall out of apprenticeships shows we have an attitude problem as a society and this equally needs to be tackled.
Apprenticeships and vocational training schemes are increasingly being promoted by business leaders and politicians from all sides as a cost-effective way to address skills shortages in several UK industry sectors. Despite this, a recent report by the Centre for Economic Performance found there are only 11 apprenticeships for every 1,000 workers in the UK
Whilst we applaud the initiative it needs to be coupled with an iron fist inside the velvet glove. Reasons for giving up apprenticeships such as not liking the hours, getting up on a Monday morning and wearing unfashionable safety gear are beyond a joke. Any one doing this should automatically lose access to any form of state support.
Author: Chris Slay
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