Figures released last week showed that 520,000 people had started an apprenticeship in 2011-12, a record number and the first time more than half a million people had started an apprenticeship in one year. However, Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary at The Association of Teachers & Lecturers, has recently blasted these figures saying: “The statistics don’t match the hype. It is worrying that there are fewer 19 year olds enrolling and completing apprenticeships, and we are worried that the increase in apprenticeships among the over 19’s is due to retraining on the job, rather than being on a real apprenticeship programme.”
In response to criticism, a spokesman from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, said:” While we too are concerned by the decrease in 16 to 18 starts, we have rightly focused on raising standards on improving the quality of apprenticeships. This inevitably may mean that some people will find it more difficult or take longer to complete their apprenticeship. But if this results in better-skilled apprentices, benefitting themselves, their employers and the economy, this can only be a good thing.”
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