The dramatic increase in apprentices aged above 25, reported by FE Week back in June, has been picked up by The Guardian newspaper today.
Jeevan Vasagar and Jessica Shepherd, writing for The Guardian said: “The number of apprentices aged over 25 nearly quadrupled, from 36,300 to 121,100. Youth unemployment hit record levels earlier this year, and latest figures show around 917,000 people aged 16-24 are out of work.”
The piece originated from a news article in FE Week, which highlighted that the rise in new apprenticeships isn’t necessarily helping to tackle youth unemployment.
Professor Alison Wolf, an advisor to Government on 14-19 vocational learning told FE Week: “Providers have been saying for some time that, if they are going to make their apprenticeship targets fast, it will be by targeting adults. The recent figures bear this out, which is bad news for youth unemployment.”
FE Week analysed provisional data published by the BIS Data Service, which showed that 37 per cent of all apprenticeship starts were for the 25+ age group, up from 17 per cent for the same period last year.
Gordon Marsden MP, Shadow Minister for FE and skills said he was concerned that many of the new apprenticeships were from employees swapping over from Train to Gain; a government funded initative that delivers vocational training to employed individuals aged over 25.
He told FE Week: “These figures show the largest increase coming in the post 25 category – most dramatically in 35-59. This must raise questions of how much that increase is simply transfers from Train to Gain, or people already in employment.”
The Guardian also interviewed Gordon Marsden MP for their recent article alongside Nick Linford, managing director of Lsect and Managing Editor of FE Week.
FE Week has expanded on the issue by looking at the rapid increase of apprenticeships at Morrisons aged over 25.