Last week’s poll: the rise of apprenticeships

With the government investing £1.5bn in apprenticeship schemes this financial year, and new apprenticeships increasing by 14 % over the last year, there is a greater focus on on-the-job training than there has been for years. But is the UK’s strategy ambitious enough?

A clear majority of the 343 respondents to last week’s poll thought that, despite increased spending on apprenticeship schemes and a rise in the number of places available, the government is still not doing enough to promote apprenticeships or to make it easy for companies to take on apprentices, with almost 65 per cent choosing this option.The next largest group, 30 per cent, thought that while things were moving in the right direction with apprenticeships available at the larger engineering firms, more work was needed to ensure that smaller companies further down the supply chain could also offer schemes. Just 5 per cent thought that the current situation was satisfactory, with opportunities opening up across the engineering landscape.

apprentice chart

Do you agree with these opinions? Do you have experience of the current apprenticeship situation, as an employer, apprentice or education provider? What practical steps could open up more apprenticeships, and do you think that current apprenticeships are teaching the skills that are needed?