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Spotlight on... Apprenticeships and Social Mobility

Spotlight on... Apprenticeships and Social Mobility

Conservative's apprenticeship reforms pave the way for a business-led skills system – now is the time to make them work for young people.

  • Skills Commission welcomes progressive apprenticeship reforms, and believes more can be done to help young people from financially disadvantaged backgrounds access these opportunities
  • Michelle Donelan MP and Lilian Greenwood MP lead calls for better monitoring of apprenticeship starts by social background

A cross-party Commission of politicians has called for a series of policy decisions so that apprenticeship reforms address the government’s key objectives around social mobility, particularly boosting access for young people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.  

The recommendations set out within the new Skills Commission report – Spotlight On… Apprenticeships and Social Mobility – particularly stand out in light of the Department for Education apprenticeship start statistics released today. In Higher Education, contextual data on starts is routinely collected and used to hold institutions to account. The Skills Commission believes the same high standards must be applied to apprenticeships. The new Institute for Apprenticeships could play a key role in collecting this data.  

This cross-party inquiry was co-chaired by Michelle Donelan MP, Conservative Member of Parliament for Chippenham; Lilian Greenwood MP, Labour Member of Parliament for Nottingham South;  and Peter Mayhew-Smith, CEO and Group Principal of the South Thames College Group.  

Michelle Donelan MP, inquiry co-chair, said: “I think moving forward we will end up with a very strong and dynamic apprenticeship system that will develop over a number of years. However, I do think there is a risk that disadvantaged groups may be left behind. If we want to create anaspirational society, the system should be focused on everybody.”

The Spitlight inquiry is kindly sponsored by the Learning & Work Institute and LCBT. This report was kindly sponsored by AELP, APM and Pearson.