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Apprenticeships and social mobility

By June 24, 2020National News

Published 24th June 

Workers from disadvantaged backgrounds are being left behind by the apprenticeship system, with numbers slumping by more than a third since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, says the Social Mobility Commission in its report ‘Apprenticeships and social mobility: Fulfilling potential’ published on Wednesday 24 June

The report also reveals that most of the benefits of apprenticeships are going to more privileged learners. It finds that apprenticeships are one of the most effective means of boosting social mobility for workers from poorer backgrounds – if they can get into and through the system. 

Key findings 

  • a 36% decline in apprenticeship starts by people from disadvantaged backgrounds, compared with 23% for others 
  • just 13% of degree-level apprenticeships, the fastest growing and most expensive apprenticeship option, goes to apprentices from disadvantaged backgrounds 
  • most disadvantaged apprenticeship starters came from three regions: north-west England (25%); the west midlands (15%); and London (15%) 
  • more than 80% of apprenticeships undertaken by learners from disadvantaged backgrounds are in enterprises in the services, health, education or public administration sectors 
  • only 63% of apprenticeships are successfully completed by men from disadvantaged background, compared with 67% of men from more privileged backgrounds 
  • on average, apprentices from disadvantaged backgrounds earn less than apprentices from more privileged backgrounds 
  • there is a 16% boost to wages for learners from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete their training, compared with 10% for others 

For more information go to the Government website (opens in a new tab) 

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