Wales leading the way on apprenticeships, says Committee Chair

The other UK administrations could learn a lot from the work being done by the Welsh Government on apprenticeships, according to the Chair of the Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education Committee.

Ann Jones AM has pointed to a dramatic rise in the number of people starting and completing an apprenticeship in Wales. Latest figures have shown further success for learners completing Work-based learning, Further Education and Adult Community Learning programmes.

Ms Jones said: “The latest figures are indicative of the Welsh Government’s continued focus on improving the skills of our young people. There are record numbers of school leavers entering and completing apprenticeships in Wales – giving them real skills and a real alternative to pursuing academic qualifications at universities.

“In England, the proportion of those completing apprenticeships has dropped and UK Government Ministers could learn a lot from the work going on here in Wales.

“We need a highly skilled workforce in order to take our economy from strength to strength and the Welsh Government really is laying the foundations for this. The Deputy Minister for Skills continued focus on improving and expanding apprenticeships is bearing fruit and is delivering for our young people. I urge the Welsh Government to continue to build on its excellent record of delivering for our young people in tough economic and fiscal circumstances”.

Figures published by the Welsh Government show that in 2012/13:
• Over four-fifths (86%) of learners leaving Apprenticeship and Foundation Apprenticeship programmes successfully completed their full apprenticeship framework.
• Overall success rates for learners in Further Education rose from 82% in 2011/12 to 84%.
• Further increases were also seen for learners leaving their Traineeship programmes, with 67% experiencing a positive progression – compared to 63% in 2011/12.
• Success rates for Adult Community Learning also rose with 84% of learners completing their programmes – compared to 82% in 2011/12.
• Just over 28,000 people in Wales started apprenticeships – compared to 17,900 in 2011/12.
• The overall figure for work-based learning provision in Wales increased dramatically by 14.5% to over 61,000 unique learners – higher than in any of the previous 5 years and up from 53,480 in 2011/12.

The number of new apprentices in Wales has soared from 17,900 in 2011/12 to 28,030 in 2012/13 – a record high.

90% of qualified Welsh apprentices go on to sustained employment or further learning. Just 1% go on to be unemployed in the first three months following completion