Latest Public Sector News


Apprenticeship policy ‘failing’ young people

Apprenticeships in the UK need fundamental reform to ensure they are helping young people transition from education into work, according to a new report.

The Work Foundation has published ‘The road less travelled?’, which highlights that just 6% of 16 to 18-year-olds were enrolled in an apprenticeship programme in 2011. The rise in apprenticeship take-up has been dominated by participants aged over 25, with 71% being existing employees.

Demand amongst young people currently outstrips the supply of apprenticeships, the report found, and calls for a greater number of employers engaged in the system to offer more quality places.

Recommendations include improve the pathways into apprenticeships through improved careers advice and guidance; better promotion and regulation around apprenticeship pay; increased employer engagement through better links with schools; and improving the educational content of apprenticeships.

Report author Katy Jones said: “Youth unemployment has been rising since the early 2000s and has remained at around one million for some time now. A coherent apprenticeship policy would go a long way in helping to tackle this crisis. But apprenticeship policy is currently in flux and has, so far, failed to take account of the long-term shift towards a service economy.

“There must be clearer guidance around the national apprenticeship wage – for both employers and apprentices – especially in sectors such as social care, where a relatively high proportion of apprentices are paid below the legal minimum. Employers who do not meet this should be sanctioned, and recognise that the minimum wage provides a minimum floor. Where possible employers should be encouraged to pay apprentices more.

“The limited representation of service industries in the government’s Trailblazer pilots is a missed opportunity to develop pathways into higher quality service occupations, particularly given that services account for 85% of overall UK employment. Government has also lowered the minimum training requirement for 30% off-the-job training to just 20%.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

What came first, the bad customer or the bad customer service?

17/03/2020What came first, the bad customer or the bad customer service?

Source: PSE Feb/March 20 Stephen Bahooshy, Senior Commissioning Manager and Nicky Selwyn, Carer and Service User Group Chair, Croydon Council.   Here it is... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >