House of Commons Education Committee report on Apprenticeships and traineeships for 16 to 19 year-olds

10th March 2015

The Edge Foundation warmly welcomes the Education Committee's wise comments and sensible recommendations on apprenticeships for young people.

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Edge briefing on apprenticeships

4th March 2015

Ahead of National Apprenticeship Week, the Edge Foundation has produced a briefing for MPs.

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House of Commons' News

  • Nicky Morgan has said the opening of Studio Schools and University Technical Colleges count among the government’s achievements. The Education Secretary said during oral questions that: “In this Parliament, the Government have established more than 4,200 academies, 255 free schools, 37 studio schools and 37 university technical colleges.”
    See Hansard link
  • MPs have discussed careers advice for 14 to 19 years olds in a Westminster Hall Adjournment Debate (held on 25 February 2015). A common theme was the need for young people to learn more about the professions and different vocational and training opportunities that are available, something that Edge calls the next Government to facilitate. In our election manifesto, we call on the next Government to “Introduce an entitlement to impartial face-to-face information, advice and guidance for all young people, as soon as resources permit.”
    See Hansard link
  • The House of Commons yesterday (4 February 2015) debated apprenticeships. Adrian Bailey MP, chairman of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee cited Edge evidence in his speech to support an example of a ‘very bright apprentice who had been offered a university place at school, but was virtually ostracised when he told the school that he would take an apprenticeship.’ He added that ‘experience is reflected more widely. The Edge Foundation has said that 26% of those surveyed had been actively discouraged from becoming apprentices.'
    See Hansard link for details of the full debate
  • Martin Vickers, Member of Parliament for the Cleethorpes constituency has said the new Scunthorpe UTC is one of three educational improvements in northern Lincolnshire and a boost to the local economy. He was speaking during Prime Minister’s questions in the House of Commons
    See Hansard link
  • Nicky Morgan MP, the Education Secretary has described UTCs as “an important part of [the government’s] education plan to ensure that young people leave school well educated" and "well prepared for careers such as those in engineering." This was in response to a question in the House of Commons by Gareth Johnson MP for Dartford, who had said the Leigh UTC in his own constituency was "a fantastic innovation."
    See Hansard link

House of Lords' News

  • The House of Lords has discussed alternative routes open to young people other than going to university. Edge's Chairman, Lord Baker, spoke in the debate about the role of UTCs, Career Colleges and apprenticeships.
    See Hansard link
  • Education minister Lord Nash had said revised guidance on careers advice and guidance clearly states that schools should act impartially and recognise that some students would be better suited to educational training beyond schools and that they should give other providers the opportunity to inform pupils about the offer. He was responding to a question asking whether the Government have any plans to change the current system of careers advice for young people in schools.
    See Handard link for the full debate
  • Introducing a debate on social mobility, Minister Lord Nash said, to compete in a global market ‘we need to see practical, technical and vocational training integrated and as rigorous as academic learning’.
    See Hansard link
  • Peers have debated the approach taken by Germany and Austria in promoting vocational education, and what lessons could be drawn for the United Kingdom and UK competitiveness. Baroness Neville-Rolfe said the German system produced ‘better educational outcomes and a larger, better pool of talent that can be apprenticed to German business, which is very actively involved.’ In response, the Minister, Lord Nash cited UTCs and studio schools ‘of which we have now approved almost 100, are modelled closely on the success of German technical schools, as are our higher apprenticeships.’
    See Hansard link
  • Speaking during a debate on the contribution of Education to Economic Growth, Lord Baker discusses the role of UTCs in tackling the skills gap. He also quoted a letter from a pupil at the Central Bedfordshire UTC who wrote: “after (underachieving) failing my first year at a standard sixth form, I made the best decision of my life and started fresh at UTC”.
    See Hansard link