Is the Government Turning its Back on Apprentices?

Is the Government Turning its Back on Apprentices?

Labour MPs are in uproar over the threat of a 50% cut in apprenticeship schemes.

After a cabinet rethink over the plans for apprenticeship funding, and despite recent government commitments to secure apprenticeship funding for the future, apprenticeships could be less of a priority than they were before. 

The cuts, should they take place, will do so in May of 2017, and could involve a 30-50% decrease in government funding. This painful slice in apprenticeships will greatly wound the students of schools and colleges across the country, denying them much needed opportunities for social mobility.

Over 50 Labour MPs have written letters of protest to the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister, Robert Halfon, claiming that the cuts to apprenticeship funding runs contrary to the Prime Minister’s pledge to improve social mobility. They are imploring him to rethink proposals which could significantly harm the UK trade labour industry.

What Effect Will the Cuts Have?

According to comments made by David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham, in The Guardian, the cuts ‘hugely undermine the government’s pledge to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, and also contradict the prime minister’s promise to “help anybody, whatever your background, go so far as your talents will take you”’. 

This is a major setback in the government’s efforts to reduce the current skills shortage and increase productivity. 

Despite the introduction of a levy on large employers to ensure that a certain portion of employees are taken from apprenticeship schemes, the move suggests that the government still views apprenticeships as the ‘poorer cousin’ of higher education. A view that leaves the poorer and less academic people of this generation in a dangerously isolated state.

Those practically minded students looking forward to pursuing a secure career in the trade industry might now be in danger of missing out on a life changing opportunity. 

What’s at Stake? 

In recent years, the UK has faced a rapidly accelerating decline in the number of young people signing up to become tradespeople, with more and more school leavers opting for the university route. 

Without a large scale resurgence of tradespeople in the country, the British trade industry will struggle to serve the growing population, as it won’t have the labour workforce to build, maintain and service housing, schools, hospitals, and construction of all kinds. 

What is Being Done to Help? 

There has been much effort to secure the great trades industry in Britain, and with many projects in place around the country there are signs of improvement.

An enormous contributor to the national effort is the development of Battersea Power Station, which has provided an excellent employment opportunity to tradespeople in London and inspiration for tradespeople around the country. 

Not only that, but maintenance, servicing and further development will occupy tradespeople for decades to come - an example of how indispensable and essential tradespeople are to modern society. 

An Accelerated Alternative to Apprenticeships

At Access Training, we aim to do our part in securing a future for tradespeople in Britain. We have established private training colleges around the UK, and our primary focus is reinvigorating the trade movement, ensuring that this generation of society has access to highly skilled, highly-professional tradespeople. 

If you want to become a qualified, professional tradesperson, and if this recent government U-turn has affected your opportunity of starting a career in the trade industry, please give us a call on 0800 345 7492, and find out more about the courses we have on offer. 

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