The education charity, Teach First, is calling for improvements to be made to apprenticeships to stop discouraging young people from low income backgrounds, in relation to new analysis indicating poorer students are less likely than their wealthier peers to embark on apprenticeship programmes.
The full analysis, developed in conjunction with PA Consulting Group and is scheduled to be published next month, explains that despite the recent government commitment to create an additional three million apprenticeships by 2020, financial barriers and a lack of information could potentially continue to put those from low income backgrounds off the route.
Executive director of External Relations at Teach First, James Westhead, commented: “As a country we rapidly need to get over this completely false idea that all apprenticeships are second rate. Apprenticeships can offer an important route for young people to get into careers and industries with strong earning potential, but a combination of poor attitudes, low awareness and lack of financial support means disadvantaged young people are losing out across the country.”
He continued: “Whilst the government’s commitment to the agenda is clear, we need to remove the perceived barriers of low pay and benefits facing disadvantaged youngsters who wish to undertake an apprenticeship. And we need a clear and simple UCAS-style application system to ensure disadvantage does not determine destiny for young people.”
The charity has also claimed that young people on apprenticeships also miss out on financial support available to those in full time education or training; as apprentices are not eligible for up to £1,200 through the Department for Education’s 16 to 19 Bursary for food, equipment and transport.
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