UK Apprenticeships

According to a study by the Open University, the UK’s skills shortage is costing over £6 billion per year, and this problem has got worse in recent years. 

The poll of business leaders in the UK indicated that: 

  • The vast majority of organisations (91%) reported having struggled to find the people with the correct skills when hiring over the last 12 months.  
  • 61% of business leaders said that they believe that access to funds will be useful in helping to plug the current skills shortfall. There is a serious appetite for schemes that promote apprenticeships and promote skills.

 Over 900,000 funded apprentices participated on an apprenticeship in the 2016 to 2017 academic year. In the last 2 years this has fallen to a low of 375,000. This is way below the target set by the Government in 2015 of 3 Million Apprentices by 2020.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) stated in May 2018 that “the system just isn’t working”. For smaller businesses they report that the new system of funding has “added to the barriers, complexity and cost of recruiting and training staff”.

Judith says; “There is a clear desire among British Employers to have Apprentices and vocational training in the workplace and to offer opportunities to older people switching career path, as well as to young people.”

As Liberal Democrats we want to: 

  • Identify and seek to solve skills gaps such as the lack of advanced technicians by expanding higher vocational training like foundation degrees, Higher National Diplomas, Higher National Certificates and Higher Apprenticeships.  
  • Develop National Colleges as national centres of expertise for key sectors, such as renewable energy, to deliver the high-level vocational skills that businesses need.  
  • Facilitate across the UK an effective and comprehensive system for credit transfer and recognition of prior learning and qualifications. 

Do you know someone on an Apprenticeship scheme or who works with apprentices? Sign up to find out about our trip for apprentices to Brussels!