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LGA - Devolve funding to allow councils to boost number of quality teenage apprenticeships

Cllr David Simmonds, Chairman of the Local Government Association's Children and Young People Board responded to the Education Select Committee's report on apprenticeships and traineeships for 16 to 19-year-olds.

"Councils have a statutory duty to support 16 to 19-year-olds into learning or training and are proud of their leading role in reducing teenage disengagement to an all-time low.

"A good apprenticeship can give young people the experience, skills and understanding to thrive in the workplace, and can often lead straight into a full-time job. Yet government is struggling to work with local employers to create enough opportunities for youngsters and a quarter of all teenagers that do get an apprenticeship drop out early.

"Rather than spending more money on a system which is clearly struggling to meet the needs of young people, the Government should recognise that it cannot guarantee the quality of apprenticeships from Whitehall and commit to devolving funding for youth training to local areas.

"This would free councils, employers, and colleges to work together with government to boost the number of quality local apprenticeships and to give teenagers the careers advice to match local skills with local jobs."

Notes to editors

  1. The growth in apprenticeship numbers since 2006/07 is almost entirely accounted for by people over 25 years old. There are now more over 35-year-olds than teenagers starting apprenticeships, the number of teenage apprenticeship starts has fallen for the last two years running.
  2. Smaller employers are far more likely to take on young people as apprentices than larger ones but are least likely to engage. Almost half of all apprentices taken on sites employing less than 50 people are under 19, whereas just a third of apprentices are under 19 where employment sites employ more than 50 people.
  3. The growth in apprenticeships has largely been in sectors associated with low skills, low pay, and insecurity. For instance business/administration apprenticeships have increased by 300 per cent since 2006/07, accounting for 160,000 starts in 2012/13. In contrast, construction starts have fallen by around 40 per cent, now accounting for well under 20,000 starts.

Contact

Greg Burns, Senior Media Relations Officer
Local Government Association
Telephone: 020 7664 3184
Email: greg.burns@local.gov.uk
Media Office (for out-of-hours contact): 020 7664 3333
Local Government House, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HZ

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