NFER comments on the Conservative Party’s pledge of 100,000 more apprenticeships


Wednesday 29 May 2024

Commenting in response to the Conservative Party’s pledge of 100,000 more apprenticeships if they win the general election, Suzanne Straw, NFER Research Director, said: 

“There has been a sharp decline in young people under 19 starting apprenticeships at intermediate and advanced level since the introduction of the levy in April 2017, with the number falling by almost a third since 2017/8.

“The next Government needs to work with businesses, particularly small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to reverse this decline. One key action would be introducing an additional financial incentive for SME employers who recruit 16-18-year-old apprentices who require extra support, for example young people who are disadvantaged and do not hold level 2 in English and maths.

“Raising the minimum apprenticeship wage for 16-17-year-olds, and more widespread introduction of discounted or free travel passes for this age group, would also make apprenticeships a more attractive and financially viable option. This may help to incentivise more young people to both consider and complete apprenticeships.”