Much has been made of the Government’s commitment to guarantee some form of training for all school leavers (the so-called ‘September Guarantee’), as announced this week as part of the ‘Building Britain’s Future’ policy proposals.
This is nothing new; funding to enable this to happen was announced in the Budget earlier this year and that commitment has been reiterated numerous times since. The Government has done a good job of stimulating demand for apprenticeships amongst young people. The recent widespread advertising campaign involving Alan Sugar is just one example of this.
However, more needs to be done on the ground to engage employers with the apprenticeship programme. Demand already outstrips supply of places; even before the ‘September Guarantee’ comes into play. Young apprenticeships remain one of the few skills funding streams not currently experiencing major difficulties. Government agencies must work harder at a local level to both encourage and incentivise employers to take a fresh look at young apprenticeships if this guarantee is to be credible.