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Coalition delivers 103,000 extra apprenticeships

By Tim Montgomerie
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International comparisons suggest the average Briton has poorer skills than the average citizen of Germany, France and America. If we are to compete internationally that has to change and the increase in the number of apprenticeships must, therefore, be among the Coalition's top achievements.

Yesterday the Department for Business and Skills announced that the Government had succeeded in creating 103,000 new adult apprenticeships, many of them in the IT sectors and in the field of high end engineering.

HAYES JOHN Skills Minister John Hayes said:

"With the biggest boost in apprenticeship numbers in our history, today marks an historic achievement by learners, employers and training providers. We’ve achieved growth at every level and for all age groups. My ambition to grow apprenticeships by 50,000 in the first year of my watch has been met and doubled, bringing the total number of apprenticeships to the biggest in modern history. We must do still more. By reducing bureaucracy, improving guidance and opening routes to higher learning we can seed opportunities for thousands of Britons and build the economically successful and socially just nation we crave."

Drop-out rates of 25% are very worrying, however, and Adam Marshall, of the British Chambers of Commerce told The Telegraph that employers were wary about taking on apprentices only for them to pull out.

Robert Halfon MP is working to raise the status of apprentices. With John Hayes he is hoping to establish a Royal Society of Apprentices and earlier this week launched an NUS-style Apprentice Card that will give financial discounts to apprentices and also access to legal and career advice.


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