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Education Select Committee says apprentices let down by poor quality training and support

09 October 2018

The apprenticeships ladder of opportunity: quality not quantity.

View report and recommendations

This Education Select Committee report focuses on the twin challenges of improving apprenticeship quality and promoting social justice.

While it recognises the good work being done by many FE colleges and independent training providers, it calls for clearer oversight of apprenticeship training and assessment and a tougher approach to poor quality training.

Amid a tripling in the number of approved providers, the report recommends an expanded role for Ofsted inspections and a cap on the amount of training that new providers can offer until they have proved their provision is of sufficient quality.

The Committee calls for redoubled efforts to recruit apprentices from disadvantaged backgrounds and help them climb the ‘ladder of opportunity’. The report recommends a range of measures, including the creation of more bursaries, increases to the apprenticeship minimum wage, and increased incentives for small and medium-sized businesses and social enterprises to take on apprentices.

The report’s findings call for a benefits system that helps rather than hinders apprentices and a renewed focus on the needs of those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

People with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD) are less likely to become apprentices, accounting for 10.3% of starts in 2016/17. Of those that do begin an apprenticeship, the dropout rate is higher. There has been some improvement in this area due to the implementations of the Maynard Review, which Disability Rights UK welcomed

Recommendations specific to disabled people are:

“25. We recommend that the Equality and Human Rights Commission conducts a monitoring review of apprenticeship participation by gender, ethnicity and by people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities every three years. Each review should recommend changes to improve Government policy and employer practice. (Paragraph 86)”