Apprenticeships and traineeships fall across Chichester by nearly 30%

31 May 2024

The number of people starting apprenticeships and traineeships in the Chichester constituency has fallen by 29.28% since 2016, according to the government’s education statistics.

To try to stem the decline in people taking up apprenticeships in England, a fall of 172,000 since 2016, the Conservatives produced another initiative this week.  Announcing that  100,000 new apprenticeships will be funded by getting rid of ‘low quality degrees’, former Chichester MP and Secretary of State Gillian Keegan pointed out that an apprenticeship had helped her start her business career.

The Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, favour tackling the apprenticeship crisis by solving the lack of demand and supply. To achieve this, they propose increasing pay for apprenticeships to at least the minimum wage while scrapping the apprenticeship levy.

The levy, introduced by the government in 2017, makes firms with an annual wage bill of more than £3 million set aside 0.5% of their payroll to apprenticeships. However, many organisations are unable to use the funds and unused levy money is then reclaimed by the Treasury if not used for two years. The resultant collapse in people starting apprenticeship since 2017 is widening the skills shortage and making it harder to encourage people into the workforce.

“Improving apprenticeships needs to be taken seriously like it is in other countries. Setting arbitrary targets for apprenticeships, funded through cutting degree options, will not work unless one understands why apprenticeships are not being taken up by young people or provided by employers,” said Jess Brown-Fuller, Chichester’s Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate.

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