Apprenticeships have, over time, provided employees with the training and hands-on experience required to succeed in highly regarded, skilled occupations. Traditionally, these have been in crafts such as masonry and carpentry and, more recently, in the engineering and technology industries. Since 2010, an increase in government funding has seen more than two million apprenticeships taken up. However, this surge in numbers has been mainly in sectors such as customer service, retail, administration and care. Unfortunately, these apprenticeships have not sufficiently matched the skills needed by our nation.
In recent years, inspectors have seen too much weak provision that undermines the value of apprenticeships, especially in the service sectors and for learners aged 25 and over. This survey report evaluates the quality of apprenticeships under the existing frameworks and the benefits they bring to apprentices, their employers and to the economy. It is not an evaluation of revised apprenticeships under the government’s reform programme. The findings make it clear that too many apprentices still do not receive sufficiently high-quality training.