The trade body for the training industry has called on the government to create more pre-apprenticeship schemes.
The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) wants to help the government construct a range of pre-apprenticeship training programmes tailored to prepare unemployed teenagers for full apprenticeships.
It’s calling on the government to provide extra funding for such schemes, which would target the country’s 1 million NEETs – those young people not in education, employment or training.
An AELP spokesman could not put a figure on how much funding was required, however.
The government already runs a limited pre-apprenticeship scheme – the Access to Apprenticeships programme for 16-24 year old NEETs, introduced last May. But it’s not ring-fenced any money for the scheme, which is funded out of the existing apprenticeship budget.
The programme also includes just 10,000 places each year – a figure the AELP feels is too small to tackle demand.
In other news, the government has announced plans to create 4,230 higher apprenticeships in sectors including low carbon engineering, legal services and space engineering. The move will be paid for using the £25 million higher apprenticeship fund.
Neil Carberry (pictured), the CBI’s director of employment and skills, welcomed the news. “Future skills shortages in key sectors could hold back our economic performance, so boosting higher level apprenticeships now is the right thing to do. Sectors like high-technology and science-based advanced manufacturing and IT are a good place to start.”
Higher Apprenticeships were introduced in 2009 in the engineering and IT sectors.
AELP members help train around 70% of England’s apprentices.