Labour claim fall in apprenticeships in Harlow

Politics / Thu 22nd Jan 2015 at 07:41pm

THE number of people starting apprenticeships is falling in Harlow under the Tory-led government, new figures show.

The data from the Office of National Statistics shows that there were 770 apprenticeship starts in Harlow in the year 2013/14, down from 930 the year before and 800 in 2010.

This comes alongside new fears that the quality of apprenticeships is being undermined, with a government report finding that 21 per cent of apprentices are receiving no training while 15 per cent of apprentices are not receiving the appropriate minimum wage they are due, rising to 24 per cent for 16-18 year olds on level 2 and level 3 apprentices.

New figures show that 93 per cent of those aged 25 or older already worked for their employer before starting their apprenticeship, suggesting that many existing training programmes for people already in work are simply being rebadged as apprenticeships.

The next Labour government will use government procurement to create thousands of new apprenticeship opportunities, so that suppliers on major public projects will need to offer new apprenticeship places. Labour will act to safeguard apprenticeship quality by ensuring new standards so that all apprenticeships last a minimum of two years and include a day a week of off-the-job training.

MP for Harlow, Tory Robert Halfon has voted to block Labour’s plans to boost quality apprenticeships

Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Harlow, Suzy Stride said:

“To grow the number of high-skilled, better-paid jobs we need more apprenticeship opportunities – particularly for our young people. But despite David Cameron and Robert Halfon’s claims, we are seeing the numbers of apprenticeships falling and worryingly there’s been a significant drop in apprenticeship starts for young people.

“We’ve also witnessed the historic apprenticeship brand being tarnished as training for employees who are already in work has been re-badged under the apprenticeship label. As a result, we’ve seen a huge spike in over-60s taking apprenticeships while the number of young people taking apprenticeships has fallen.

“Under Labour’s plans, we would use government procurement to create thousands of new opportunities and would act to ensure all apprenticeships are of high quality and provide a route to a more high-skilled job.”

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