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CBI demands an end to `second-class’ apprenticeships


The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) says that the status and quality of training provided by the government's Modern Apprenticeship programme must be improved in order to reduce drop-out rates.

Responding to figures published by the Department for Education and Employment last autumn, which showed that only a third of participants left the scheme with an NVQ level 3, John Cridland, Director of Human Resources at the CBI, said that the low completion rate was due in part to a mismatch between candidates abilities and the training provided for them.

In addition, Cridland said there was a lack of good careers advice available to students, many of whom remained in full-time education when an apprenticeship could have provided them with better prospects.

The CBI's survey of employers taking part in the Modern Apprenticeship scheme found that the main reasons for non-completion were that the apprentice left the company (85 per cent), was not capable of completing the training (55 per cent), or did not want to complete the training (30 per cent).

As a result of the survey, the CBI has put forward the following recommendations to improve the programme:

  • Attract better entrants and make sure all apprentices get the right training for their ability.

  • Introduce measures to encourage apprentices to complete their training.

  • Ensure that when young people complete their Modern Apprenticeship they have a good skills base on which to build future employability.

  • Extend full Government funding to apprentices aged 20-25 on an equal basis with those aged 16-19.

Further information about the survey can be found at


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