New apprentices aged 25 or over increased by 126,500 in 2010/11, while new learners starting a Train to Gain qualification, now referred to as Workplace Learning, went down by 130,200.
The findings add to fears that some of the new apprentices being praised by government could in fact be existing employees which would have previously been funded as Train to Gain.
The government has been quick to praise themselves for smashing apprenticeship targets, with 442,700 new learners announced in the latest Statistical First Release (SFR).
John Hayes, Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning said during the Conservative Party Conference: “The government has put apprenticeships at the heart of our programme for skills. Apprenticeships are growing beyond labour’s wildest dreams.
“We’ve already delivered 100,000 new places and we will create 250,000 more apprenticeships over this parliament.”
The record number of apprentices is dwarfed however by the number of starts in Workplace Learning, which had 444,700 new learners, a decrease of 23 per cent, in 2010/11.
The government formally scrapped the Train to Gain brand last July, and began shifting both funding and focus away from Workplace Learning and onto new apprenticeships.
Despite nearly half a million new starts in 2010/11, John Hayes has been a vocal critic of Train to Gain in the past.
Mr Hayes said in November 2009 : “The service has a massive dead weight cost. Money for Train to Gain will be transferred into a new budget.”
FE Week will be discussing the potential ‘rebadging’ of apprenticeships at our House of Commons debate on November 09. If you would like to attend please get in touch.
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