Apprenticeships and traineeships for 16 to 19 year olds - Education Contents

9  Conclusion

141. Good quality apprenticeships provide lifelong benefits for apprentices, those who employ them and the country as a whole. Given the benefits far too few of the 16-19 cohort in England take up apprenticeships. The central challenge for the Government's reform programme is to increase the number of young apprenticeship opportunities while ensuring that quality is at least maintained if not improved. We support the Government's efforts to give employers greater say, control and stake in apprenticeships but it must guard against system changes which deter employers, and smaller employers in particular, from participating.

142. The process of driving up numbers should start in schools, where all pupils should have access to good quality careers advice about the options that are most appropriate to them. Until incentives for schools are changed most young people will continue to receive inadequate careers advice and, as a result, will not be aware of apprenticeship opportunities.

143. The Trailblazer standards should be rigorously assessed to ensure that the new apprenticeships measure up to the Government's four principles of apprenticeships, and in accordance with our fifth principle deliver income transformation on completion for the apprentice. Apprenticeships that do not meet these standards should cease to attract government funding.

144. More well-prepared young people progressing into good quality apprenticeships has the potential to create a virtuous circle in which employers are incentivised to offer more high-quality schemes, outcomes for employers and apprentices are improved and, in turn, further apprenticeship opportunities are created.

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Prepared 9 March 2015