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NSoA responds to Sutton Trust report on impact of Covid-19 on apprenticeships

Wednesday 20 May 2020

National Society of Apprentices (NSoA) responds to Sutton Trust report on the impact of Covid-19 on apprenticeships.  Amy Dowling and Charlie James, from NSoA Leadership Team commented:

“Furloughing apprentices on £3.31 is not only unfair and immoral, but puts them at risk of poverty and ill-health. NSoA fully supports recommendation 3. It was no ones intention to force apprentices to leave their apprenticeships or be forced into poverty.

We agree that we need an apprenticeship system that can deliver excellent training to apprentices when we all get back to work. Apprentices need colleges that can deliver day release programmes and employers who truly understand that an apprenticeship is an education for a career not just training for a job.  High quality off the job training shouldn’t just be for the lucky few on engineering courses. Having seen their impact over recent months surely we must now agree that apprentices in Logistics, Social Care and Early Years to name but a few also deserve real off the job training.

As part of supporting this, we need senior staff who already hold qualifications to stand up for others and allow apprenticeship funding to be spent on young people or those without formal qualifications to enter the world of work. The recent bonanza of MBA style apprenticeships needs urgent review. The degree apprenticeships funded through the levy were meant to mark a change for social mobility - however without a rebalancing of the way the levy is spent, those of us struggling to get a start will continue to be squeezed out.”

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Notes to Editors

The Sutton Trust report shows that:

  • The current health crisis is having a significant effect on apprenticeships.
  • Employers surveyed say that up to two-thirds (60%) of their apprentices have lost out on work experience or learning. 36% have been furloughed, 8% made redundant and 17% have had their off-the-job learning suspended.
  • The decline in new apprenticeships likely to be exacerbated by the crisis.