Labour far behind on apprenticeships, holding young people back in Wales

Commenting on the UK Conservative Government’s plans to boost apprenticeships by expanding UCAS’ service, so that young people can see more personalised options, Welsh Conservative Shadow Education Minister, Laura Anne Jones MS said:

“Apprenticeships are incredibly valuable as an alternative route post-16. They prepare young people for the world of work in situ, giving them unrivalled experience in industry.

“I welcome the Conservative Education Secretary’s plans, but am disappointed that Labour will be far less able to take advantage of the opportunity here in Wales. Our apprenticeships system hasn't undergone the same level of reform and modernisation that it has in England.

“Labour are off the ball and behind the curve when it comes to apprenticeships, we will experience a substantial brain drain if there are greater options across the border, in England. We need to support our young people in Wales to take the path that is right for them, so that they may reach their full potential.”

• Thousands of apprenticeship opportunities are to be advertised to young people alongside undergraduate degrees in plans to broaden UCAS.

• Half of UCAS applicants would consider an apprenticeship, but not enough vacancies are being offered to meet growing demand.

• The Education Secretary has set out her ambition to go further still, to develop a one-stop-shop to make it easier for young people to see all education and training options and apply for them.

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