The Deputy Prime Minister,,Nick Clegg, is today 'celebrating the fact' that the government has doubled the number of people starting apprenticeships, compared to the last Parliament. We are now just days away from being able to announce the 2 millionth apprenticeship starting since 2010 in England.
Official statistics show that in the four years to 2009/10, 928,800 people began an apprenticeship compared to 1,984,900, over the past four years. 72 per cent of employers reported that apprenticeships improved the productivity of their business or the quality of their product or service.
At the Skills Show in Birmingham today, the Deputy Prime Minister is also announcing that for the first time ever, the government will revolutionise how 16-18 year olds find out about vocational skills and training. A fully-comprehensive national database of post-16 skills and employer-led courses and opportunities in England, similar to the UCAS system, will be in place at the beginning of the next school year in September 2015.
The Deputy Prime Minister will meet with young people and businesses at the Skills Show to promote the growing range of vocational opportunities available to young people when they leave education and are trying to get their foot on the career ladder.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "Gone are the days when a vocational education is seen as the poor relation when it comes to choosing a career path. I'm delighted to be able to celebrate such a phenomenal rise in young people being given the opportunity to work as they learn. In fact we are just days away from being able to celebrate the 2 millionth apprentice starting work in England since 2010. Good quality apprenticeships give hard-working young people the chance to aim high for their dream job and play their part in building a stronger economy for Britain.
"Whilst it is truly exciting to be able to celebrate the tide turning with wider-ranging opportunities for our school leavers aside from university, we also need to do more to show young people all of the doors open to them. By giving every 16-year-old access to a one stop shop for the growing number of choices they have, more young people will be able to access the options available to them and make better informed choices about their career paths." Mr Clegg added.
Employment statistics released yesterday show that nationally there is now a record level of employment, with 30.8 million people in work. The number of young people on Job Seekers Allowance has fallen by 116,000 over the past year to 219,000. This is the lowest level since the 1970s.