The Government's flagship modern apprenticeships have become the best passport to work for school-leavers, according to new figures from the national body which controls Government funding for the initiative.
The Training and Enterprise Council's national body claim that youth training and modern apprenticeship schemes are working, despite failing to live up to Government promises of broad appeal to a wide range of employers and trainees.
Figures released this month by the TEC National Council, which is responsible for the 81 training and enterprise councils in England and Wales, show that modern apprenticeships are the best passports to a job. Only 10.4 per cent of former apprentices in Britain were unemployed in winter 1995-96, compared with 11.7 per cent of graduates and 12.3 per cent of A-level students.
Over 275,000 young people are likely to be on the Government's flagship Youth Training programme by April 1997, and 84 per cent of those who complete their course will get a job or go on to further education. This is a dramatic improvement upon February last year when the Government launched a Pounds 1 million TV and radio campaign after only 14,000 young people signed up for an apprenticeship.
Qualifications now being achieved by people on YT programmes are improving, with 82 per cent being at NVQ level 2 or higher (53 per cent at NVQ level 2 and 29 per cent at level 3 or 4). This is a 15 per cent increase on the previous year. Forty-four per cent of YT trainees with disabilities found work during the first three-quarters of 1995-96, the best such outcome since TECs began.