Apprenticeships were initially set up to help young people in the 16 to 24 age bracket find employment and training but, according to the report, only 37,000 of the 126,000 extra apprenticeships created last year went to people in that age range.
The IPPR said that the apprenticeship “brand” should be reserved for young people but that the figures showed a different story; the rise in apprenticeships for the over 25s increased by 257 per cent, while for 19 to 24 year old the rise was 22 per cent and only 10 per cent for 16 to 18-year-olds.
IPPR Director, Nick Pearce said: “Apprenticeships can help young people break out of the unemployment trap by offering additional general education, the chance to learn the soft skills that employers often demand, and specific job-related training.”
The current system is that funding goes to training providers, who help to find and then administer appropriate apprenticeships. Mr Pearce believes that channeling more funding directly to employers would help to overcome employers’ reluctance to take on school leavers.
While the Department of Education defended the Government’s record on apprenticeships, a spokesman for them said: "The figures show that the number of 16-18-year-olds not in education, employment or training (NEET) continues to fall - but the number of teenagers who are NEET is still too high.
"We want every 16 and 17-year-old to achieve, which is why we are increasing apprenticeships and transforming vocational qualifications.
"We're raising the participation age to 18 by 2015 - whether that be full-time education in a school or college, an apprenticeship or full-time work or volunteering with part-time training alongside it."
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