Awareness of apprenticeships impacted by pandemic

The Ladder for Shropshire says it is committed to continuing to provide support for anyone seeking an apprenticeship after it emerged the pandemic has caused a decline in the awareness of the opportunities available.

Michelle Crowe attending a previous apprenticeship event at Shrewsbury Town
Michelle Crowe attending a previous apprenticeship event at Shrewsbury Town

The past 18 months have impacted negatively on the careers advice and guidance which many young people have been able to access. Higher numbers have chosen to follow the more familiar academic routes to college or university and this may result in higher than usual drop-out rates, the Ladder says.

Nationally, the number of young people starting new apprenticeships fell by 46 per cent between 2019 and 2020. And an IPPO (International Public Policy Observatory) review found “a decline in the awareness of apprenticeships during the pandemic”.

It found that, with less time spent in school, the number of young people who received information on apprenticeships dropped from 63 per cent in 2018 to 57 per cent in 2021, a four-year low.

A survey conducted by the Shropshire Star in June and July this year identified that Shropshire young people fared slightly better but still only 68 per cent of 16 to 24 year olds had received advice through school or college.

The Ladder for Shropshire says each week there are more than 200 apprenticeships on offer in the area and that it is not too late to apply. People can visit www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk for the latest vacancies.

Meanwhile, working with the Marches Skills Provider Network (MSPN), the All About Apprenticeships event will be once again staged at the home of Shrewsbury Town FC in February 2022. This open event will provide general information as well as feature apprenticeship providers and employers.

The Ladder for Shropshire and apprenticeship providers are again being invited into schools to speak to staff and students. MSPN has also produced a video which illustrates how apprenticeships are organised locally, and this can be accessed via the home page at www.mspn.co.uk.

Amanda Carpenter, for the Ladder for Shropshire, said: “It is so important that young people and those who advise them have as much good quality information as possible about apprenticeships in order to take advantage of the great local opportunities and provide the skills which employers need.

“I would highly recommend to regular review apprenticeships that are advertised and attend the school and provider events to get full access to apprenticeships.”

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