In 2015/16, the total number of people undertaking an apprenticeship stood at 904,800, more than ever, with 509,400 beginning over the course of the 12 month period.
Apprenticeships have a critical role to play, not only in furnishing young people with important skills, but also in developing a highly skilled and productive workforce that underpins economic prosperity.
British workers are presently 30% less productive than those in France and Germany; whilst the CBI’s annual survey this year found that 69% of employers are concerned about an inability to locate highly skilled staff in the UK. The Government’s ambition to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, therefore, has an important role to play in ameliorating these issues.
With Brexit potentially restricting British employers’ flexibility to access skills from abroad, there is a need for local authorities, training providers, employers, and further education providers to collaborate to support the expansion of high quality apprenticeships that address skills shortages and are responsive to the long term aspirations of employers and young people.