From September, 14 to 16 year olds will be able to spend up to
two days a week out of the classroom, learning a trade in a
The scheme was announced by education secretary Charles Clarke
Initial opportunities on the Young Apprenticeships scheme will
be in engineering, automotive industries, business administration,
logistics and the arts and creative industries. Recruits will have
to meet certain achievement criteria, and the government expects
that about half of them will continue training after age 16 and
progress to level 2 apprenticeships which will replace the existing
foundation level apprenticeship.
The DfES recognises that demand for apprenticeships from young
people is outstripping the supply of places on offer from employers
and the Learning and Skills Council is to run a campaign to
persuade employers to offer more places.
The way apprenticeships are organised has been changed to meet
the demands of employers who will now have more input into the way
they are designed. It will in future be possible for an apprentice
to switch employer and take their partly completed apprenticeship
Clarke said: “The new Young Apprenticeships represent one of the
most exciting developments for young people since the introduction
of GCSEs in 1986 and fits in with Mike Tomlinson’s work on 14
to 19 curriculum reform.”
The Entry to Employment scheme launched last August for young
people not ready or able to join an apprenticeship is to be
rebranded as a Pre-Apprenticeship.
According to the government there are now 255,500
apprenticeships in England compared with 76,000 in 1997.