Document Abstract

Apprenticeships in England: what does research tell us? (Paper no IS02)

Summarises the findings of research into apprenticeships in England carried out since 2015. Describes the apprenticeship model in England and compares it with models in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Notes that compared to Austria, Germany and Switzerland, apprentices in England are more likely to be trained at a lower skill level and for a shorter time period. Discusses the increase in apprenticeship starts since 2008, driven mainly by starts among those aged 25+, and to a lesser extent among those aged between 19 and 24. Highlights the sectors in which the increase in the number of apprenticeship starts was concentrated: business, administration and law; health, public services and social care; retail and commercial enterprise; and engineering and manufacturing technologies. Compares the number of starts with completions, and looks at trends in apprenticeship take up since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017. Highlights the change in composition of apprenticeships, noting the increase in share of Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships. Discusses the quality of apprenticeships and the trade-off between quantity and quality. Investigates the ‘value’ of apprenticeships (as measured by labour market earnings), finding considerable variability by sector and level.


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McNally, Sandra
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Centre for Vocational Education Research (CVER)

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