Liam Byrne MP, Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills, responding to David Cameron’s announcement on apprenticeships today, said:
“Over a year ago Ed Miliband called for better quality apprenticeships and action to help the fifty per cent of people who don’t go to university. Employers need to be in the driving seat when it comes to developing apprenticeships to ensure that training meets their skills needs.
“But today’s proposals don’t go far enough. The number of apprenticeship starts is falling at a time when youth unemployment stands at nearly a million. According to the Government’s own research, one in five apprentices report receiving neither on or off the job training as part of their apprenticeship, and 29% of apprentices receive less pay than they are legally entitled to.
“One Nation Labour will create a new universal standard for apprenticeships so that they are qualifications that employers and young people can trust, and use public procurement to create thousands of new apprenticeship opportunities.”