A report by the Social Mobility Commission, published on 24 June 2020, finds that most of the benefits of apprenticeships are going to more privileged learners, and that workers from disadvantaged backgrounds are being left behind by the apprenticeship system.
The report found the following key findings:
- The introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017 has led to a “collapse in overall apprenticeship starts that hit disadvantaged learners hardest”
- a 36% decline in apprenticeship starts by people from disadvantaged backgrounds, compared with 23% for others
- just 13% of degree-level apprenticeships, the fastest growing and most expensive apprenticeship option, goes to apprentices from disadvantaged backgrounds
- most disadvantaged apprenticeship starters came from three regions: north-west England (25%); the west midlands (15%); and London (15%)
- more than 80% of apprenticeships undertaken by learners from disadvantaged backgrounds are in enterprises in the services, health, education or public administration sectors
- only 63% of apprenticeships are successfully completed by men from disadvantaged background, compared with 67% of men from more privileged backgrounds
- on average, apprentices from disadvantaged backgrounds earn less than apprentices from more privileged backgrounds
- there is a 16% boost to wages for learners from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete their training, compared with 10% for others
The report can be read in full here.