More school leavers choosing apprenticeships

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New statistics show thousands more 16- and 17-year-olds are embarking on apprenticeships than last year.

The data shows that apprenticeships, which now offer real jobs and training to develop the practical skills and experience that businesses want, are becoming increasingly popular with 16- and 17-year-olds, having risen by more than 15% in just 1 year.

The government has put a package of measures in place as part of it's apprenticeship reforms so they offer a respected alternative to academic study. They include:

  • introducing a rigorous new curriculum and world-class qualifications, ensuring proper preparation for further and higher education, and work
  • ensuring that young people who have not achieved at least a C in GCSE English or maths must continue studying those subjects as part of their further education
  • removing low-quality vocational qualifications from league tables in favour of courses proven to deliver the skills employers demand

a new programme of traineeships to help those aged 16 to 23 (inclusive) to develop the skills and vital experience they need to secure apprenticeships and other sustainable jobs

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said: “There is no better engine of social mobility and success than a place in education or training."

The figures, collected from local authorities, reveal that in March this year compared to March 2013:

  • more than 15% more 16- and 17-year-olds are in apprenticeships - up from 41,738 last year to 49,228 this year
  • 27,832 more 16- and 17-year-olds are participating in education or training - up from 1,030,689 last year to 1,058,521 this year
  • 8 out of 9 regions in England reported higher rates of young people in education or training compared to last year
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