Social Mobility Commission publish apprenticeship report

Posted 15.07.2020

Apprenticeships are one of the few indisputably effective tools of social mobility currently available to the government. There is now a mountain of evidence to confirm the benefits they confer on workplace learners – such as enhanced career earnings, continued education and richer, more fulfilled working lives.

Yet the system is not working. Instead, the main beneficiaries of apprenticeships are the people who do not need them. In this study, authors at London Economics show how the apprenticeship levy, introduced in 2017, has disproportionately funded higher-level apprenticeships for learners from more advantaged communities, rather than those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, who would benefit more.

This research reveals how disadvantage gaps exist at every stage of the apprenticeship journey, from initial selection of candidates by employers to the quality of training disadvantaged apprentices get. Geography is also an issue. Lack of opportunities in deprived areas can force disadvantaged learners to undertake expensive and difficult journeys to reach work.

The research has been undertaken by London Economics on behalf of the Social Mobility Commission which is an independent advisory non-departmental public body established under the Life Chances Act 2010 as modified by the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016. It has a duty to assess progress in improving social mobility in the UK and to promote social mobility in England.



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