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Watchdog says apprenticeships are UK’s ‘weakest education provision’

Ofsted has labelled apprenticeships the “weakest education provision” in the UK, with one in ten providers being judged as “inadequate”.

In its annual report for 2019-20, the watchdog said 24% of new providers that were inspected received at least one insufficient progress judgement, which was put down to “weak leadership and a lack of co-development of the curriculum with employers”.

According to the report, 36% of apprentices were furloughed over the course of the year, 8% were made redundant and 17% had their off-the-job learning suspended.

Apprentices have been identified by the watchdog as having missed out the most on their education because of Covid-19 restrictions.

As of 31 August, there were nearly 1,900 providers that were publicly funded and delivering education, training and/or apprenticeships, a drop of 2% compared to the same time in 2019.

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