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Apprentice redundancies rise by two-thirds

The number of apprenticeships ending early during lockdown was two-thirds higher than figures from the same period in 2019, according to figures obtained by the BBC.

The provisional data has shown that 1,033 people undergoing apprenticeship schemes were let go of their duties during the first peak of the pandemic. 

Speaking on a BBC Five Live radio show, host Sean Farrington said: “The BBC has obtained data which shows that between March and August, more than 1,000 apprenticeships ended early because the trainee lost their position.”

When asked about the Government’s response to the situation, Gillian Keegan, minister of state for Apprenticeships and Skills, said: “The first thing we did was secure that apprentices could be furloughed, and secured their training while they were furloughed.”

Also reported was that despite people from BAME backgrounds accounting for 16% of the population, they only make up 12% of all apprentices.

Kimmy Kimani, an apprentice ambassador, said: “A lot of people still have that old perception of apprenticeships. For a lot of us our parents might be first-generation migrants, so they are not familiar with what apprenticeships are. So, a lot of them just know University.

“One thing we looked at is promotional materials used to promote apprenticeships. A lot of them don’t cater to the BAME community. When you don’t see representation you don’t feel like it is for you.”

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