Apprenticeships and parity with Higher Education

Last year, 457,200 people starting training as an Apprentice after government investment of £1.2bn in the apprenticeship programme. However, the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee report into apprenticeships is urging schemes to be more ambitious. Chairman of the BIS Committee, Adrian Bailey, said, "Apprenticeships are a viable and attractive route to a career and should be seen as equal to the university route.”

 A crucial factor for young people when it comes to deciding on where to go after school is the cost of studying for a degree. Fees for studying at University can be as much as £9,000 a year with living expenses on top, andthere is still no guarantee of a job at the end of it. With an Apprenticeship, however, a learner can earn while they learn plus they gain valuable experience in the workplace. Many GCSE and A Level students have already started as Apprentices with local businesses as an alternative to higher education. Furthermore the committee has urged that schools are measured by the number of pupils progressing into Apprenticeships as well as the number progressing to Higher Education.

 “We therefore recommend that alongside the number of university places gained in an academic year, schools should also be required to publish the number of Apprenticeship starts.”

House of Commons. BIS Committee Apprenticeships Fifth Report of Session 2012-13

 Skills minister Matthew Hancock said "Apprenticeships are vital for equipping people with the skills they need to prosper, and the nation with the workforce we need to compete in the global race…. I welcome this timely and thorough investigation into apprenticeships, and will consider carefully its suggestions to help make the programme even more successful."

 If you would like more information about Apprenticeships and how they can enrich your business, please call me on 01635 35975 or email