James at the Education Select Committee
James at the Education Select Committee

Parliament’s influential Education Select Committee has released a new report which concludes that the Government’s apprenticeship programme is failing due to poor quality training and a lack of support.

The cross-party committee released the report after months of investigation by MPs into the delivery of apprenticeships, who found that thousands of apprentices are not getting the training they need and too many people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, are not being given the support they need to pursue an apprenticeship and get on in life.

Bury North MP James Frith, who is a member of the committee which produced the report, linked poor quality of training by some college and independent training providers in part to massive cuts to further education funding.

James says:

“The Government promised 3 million apprenticeships, but the reality is that number will almost certainly not be met because not enough is being done to get people into apprenticeships, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“And those who do get access are not always getting the best training, in part because our FE colleges have had 30% of their funding cut in the last 9 years, leading to significant reductions in the resources available for teaching and learning and pressures on staff pay and workload.

“Our colleges need the resources to do the job properly, training providers need to be better monitored by Government and there needs to be a renewed focus on how to get more people from disadvantaged backgrounds access to these opportunities, including lifting the apprentice minimum wage, cutting travel costs for young apprentices and more bursaries.”

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