The Mayor’s apprenticeship programme is utterly failing young people, according to the latest figures showing the Mayor is set to miss his target to create 250,000 apprenticeships between 2012 and 2016. Of the 96,500 apprenticeships started between 2012 and 2014 almost half (44%) went to people over the age of 25 as a result of Government changes which effectively reclassified some in-work training schemes as apprenticeships.
This data was revealed by my colleague Fiona Twycross AM at the start of National Apprenticeship Week which runs from the 9th to 13th March.
With Government statistics showing that only 96,500 apprenticeships were started in the capital between April 2012-June 2014, Fiona warned that the Mayor had a “vast mountain to climb” if he was to hit his target of 250,000 by May 2016.
An age breakdown of those starting London apprenticeships found that in 2012/13, 48% of apprenticeships went to those over 25 years of age. In 2013/14 the percentage was still 40%. This is almost double the 19% of apprenticeships which went to over 25’s in 2009/10, before the Government re-categorised some types of in-company training as apprenticeships. According to a recent report from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, 93% of apprentices over the age of 25 already worked for their employer prior to starting an ‘apprenticeship’ under the new system – a problem the education charity the Edge Foundation described as “deadweight – that is, subsidies for training that would have happened anyway.”