Poll: Concerns over apprenticeship achievement rates

Despite a renewed focus on the importance of apprenticeships, completion rates have tumbled in recent years. In this week’s poll we’re asking whether your company has employed an apprentice who failed to complete their apprenticeship and what you think could help reverse this worrying trend.

In the face of a growing skills gap in the engineering and manufacturing sectors it’s widely accepted that apprenticeship schemes represent an increasingly critical method of enabling employers to develop the workforce that will need to compete in the future.

And yet despite increasing efforts to drive the uptake of apprenticeships and to encourage employers to think increasingly carefully about how their schemes are structured, there are concerning signs that this push isn’t delivering the pipeline of skills that industry requires,

Indeed, according to the most recent set of complete figures from the UK government (2021/2022) Engineering and Manufacturing apprenticeship achievement rates in England have fallen to 58 per cent. Apprentice achievement rate in general across England have dropped from 73.8 in 2011/12 to just 53 per cent in 2021/22, which is way off the government’s target of 67 per cent.

Clearly, given the widely recognised importance of vocational routes into industry, and the noted skills shortages across many sectors of industry, this is a worrying and perhaps somewhat surprising trend. So where have we gone wrong?  

In this week’s poll we’re asking a simple question: Has your company employed an apprentice who failed to complete their apprenticeship?  Yes or No? Do please cast your vote below. 

As always, we’re also keen to get your broader views on this ever-emotive topic in the comments section below the line. Whether or not your company has been affected by this trend, how much of a problem do you think this is in general? Why do you think achievement rates continue to disappoint? And what kind of help and assistance do you believe would help overcome this challenge?