Call for changes to apprenticeships for 16-18 year olds.


‘IPPR wants the government to phase out level two apprenticeships for 16-18 year olds, and replace them with a programme only offered by colleges.

Entitled ‘Earning & Learning – Making the Apprenticeship System work for 16-18 year olds’, its new report warned youth unemployment is being fuelled by “too many” 16–18 year olds studying level two courses that do not help them progress through vocational education or into work.

Authors Joe Dromey, senior research fellow on work, skills and family at IPPR (pictured above), Jonathan Clifton, who left the IPPR to become Head of Strategic Policy at Department for Education after drafting the report and Charlynne Pullen, now head of workforce data at The Education and Training Foundation, instead proposed that level two apprenticeships should be replaced by “a distinct pre-apprenticeship programme”.

This, they added, should “only be offered by FE colleges, or training providers which are run on a not-for-profit basis”.

The report said that level two apprenticeships “are often very job specific, they do not include much off-the-job training, they only last one year, and – from next year – they will not be required to include a recognised qualification”.

The authors added: “Young people who leave full-time education with a level two qualification have an employment rate of 70 per cent – which is almost 20 percentage points lower than those who leave full-time education with a level three qualification or higher education.”

In addition, they said, wage returns for level two qualifications are low, and relatively few of these learners progress to level three – only 39 per cent of those on one year level two courses.

In contrast to the current system, IPPR said, pre-apprenticeships would be “explicitly designed to help young people move onto a full level three apprenticeship at age 18 or 19”.

The proposed scheme would differ from the current system in a number of ways, including “more ‘off the job’ training”, “more general education (including English and maths)”, and a final “transferable qualification” at its outcome.

The report also suggested “employers do not want to hire young apprentices” and therefore should be subsidised for taking on a young person on a pre-apprenticeship – for example by being “allowed to use their levy payment” to cover the wages.’ - FE Week

Read the report here

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