Number of apprenticeships in Halton on rise according to report, but only 1% are highly skilled roles

May 31 2012 by Mark Smith, Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News

THE number or work-based apprenticeships in Halton has risen according to the latest figures, but only 1% of them are in the top bracket for professions such as science and engineering.

According to a council report there were 1,755 apprentices hired in 2010-11, but of those only 20 were studying ‘higher apprenticeships’, which is the equivalent of a foundation degree and equips people for work in more highly skilled jobs.

The report said the figure had been recognised and that work was under way to address the imbalance.

The document also claims that nationally, the number of ‘over-qualified’ young people taking on apprenticeships has risen due to the increase in tuition fees at universities, which has left fewer opportunities for young people who are classed as NEET (not in education, employment, or training).

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The report considered a presentation by Peter Finney of the National Apprenticeship Service.

It said: “Peter Finney concluded with an overview of the Halton position, that while there has been a healthy increase in the number of intermediate and advanced apprenticeships in Halton, out of a total of 1,755 apprentices in 2010-11, less than 20 were higher apprentices.

“He went on to stress that this has been recognised and NAS is working hard alongside Halton Council and other partners to promote the availability and attractiveness of apprenticeships to both students and employers.

“Science Halton, Daresbury SIC and The Heath could all offer potential opportunities.”

The latest data revealed a major increase in the number of Halton residents pursuing apprentiships, increasing from 522 in 2005.

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Paul Champion

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