The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) is calling for the government to address the existing shortfall in apprentices by accelerating their proposed investment in careers advice in schools.
Figures show an overall drop of 61% in apprenticeship starts across all sectors since the introduction of the Levy. This has resulted from a combination of confusion amongst employers about the new processes, reluctance by smaller employers to take on what they see as an increased administrative burden and simple inertia in the transition from the old Apprentice Frameworks to the new Standards.
With government cuts having removed independent careers advice in schools in England, the IMI found that over half of young people aren’t being given the tools to explore new opportunities outside A Levels and university.
Steve Nash, chief executive at the IMI said, ‘The automotive sector has seen a 15% drop in apprenticeship starts, which is relatively small compared to the overall 61% and perhaps reflects the fact that apprenticeships are a long established entry into automotive, with many excellent employers offering first class schemes. But this is still a serious issue in a sector hungry for new talent. We can only expect this to improve if government take steps to significantly improve the quality and availability of careers advice in schools.
‘The IMI surveyed parents and young people to find that over 80% of parents said they would choose university over an apprenticeship for their children. So it’s clear that reforming apprenticeships alone is not enough. Far more needs to be done to educate both children and their parents on the alternatives to University if the government is to reach its aim of gaining an even balance between those opting for the traditional higher education route and those choosing vocational learning.’