Is apprenticeship scheme working?

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To try and cut out labour market wastage, the government launched its ambitious aim of creating seven million apprenticeships by 2020.

It has financed 20,000 young people to enter apprenticeships for up to a year to work their way up the pay scale to a better job.

The DWP says with the minimum pay attached to these schemes, the vast majority are getting paid more than the minimum wage.

Sara Upate has been the Head of Skills Funding at the DWP for several years.

She says a lot of the money has gone on ensuring that the apprentices can still work – as well as getting practical help and support.

But she says the plan is for more but she’s not so sure yet whether it’s working.

Some reports suggest as many as three quarter of the graduates aren’t still working full time after completing the schemes.

And that can mean jobseekers – or people that are newly unemployed – are being promised the jobs they were promised while most are still unemployed.

Other criticism has been about the way in which funding has been doled out.

Sara Upate says that’s not something which the DWP is concerned about – and that the funding is up to the programme providers.

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