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Apprenticeship Starts Down 30%, Figures Show
Official government figures show that the number of apprenticeship starts between August and October last year dropped to 114,000, a fall of 30 per cent on the year before. The biggest fall was seen among level 2 apprenticeships for those over the age of 25, although drops were seen across all ages for both levels 2 and 3 apprenticeships.
However, the Resolution Foundation has responded to the stats, saying that they do still represent progress on the previous quarter when stats were found to be down 60 per cent compared to the same quarter the year before.
On a positive note, 30 per cent growth in level 4 apprenticeships was seen, which shows good movement with regards to the kind of apprenticeships that are available. But it was also noted that the government has set a target of three million apprenticeship starts between 2015 and 2020 – and this would require approximately 600,000 starts each year. As such, the government is off its target although there is still time to get back on track.
Political analyst at the Foundation Kathleen Henehan said: “After years of growth, it’s disappointing to see a big drop in the number of apprenticeships start in the first crucial period since the levy came into effect. The hope is that much of this fall will even out as employers get used to the levy. More encouragingly, the number of higher level apprenticeships continues to grow.”
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, made further comments, saying that the levy as it stands isn’t working which is what retailers have been saying for months.
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