Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills, responding to today’s apprenticeship statistics, said:
“Today’s damning figures show the apprenticeship programme has slammed into reverse under David Cameron, with 25,000 fewer apprentices starting than last year. Worse, we now have fewer young people starting an apprenticeship than at the time of the last election.
“At a time when there are nearly a million young people out of work, this just isn’t good enough. This is why the Government needs to use the money it already spends on public procurement to create thousands of new apprenticeship opportunities, as Ed Miliband called for earlier this year.
“And as today’s report from the Sutton Trust highlights, we need a radical overhaul of the system to ensure apprenticeships are a gold standard once again. Building on the work of our independent Skills Taskforce One Nation Labour will create a new universal standard apprenticeships so that they are qualifications that employers and young people can trust.”