More Nonsense on Apprenticeships.


Education, Economy and Society

front_page_001Several national newspapers reported Skills Minister Matthew Hancock’s latest attempt to talk up the Coalition’s faltering apprenticeship programme (www.gov.uk/government/speeches/matthew-hancocks-speech-on-a-skills-revolution). Newspapers also carried statistics showing an 18% in the number of 16 and 17 year olds signing up for apprenticeships –with 50 000 youngsters now taking this route, yet these figures take on a rather different significant when they are compared against the number of 16-17 staying on in full-time education, some 1.2 million and representing over 85% of the cohort.

Hancock also pointed to a 40% increase in the number of under-25 year olds on Advanced level apprenticeships (work-based alternatives to A-level) but other government figures show only 22,100 starts by under-19 year olds for the six months from August 2013 with another 28 000 by those 19-25. Compared with the 300 000 plus A-level candidates and the 310 000 acceptances of university places by school leavers for…

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