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Skills Minister Matthew Hancock, is congratulating himself that this year a total of 6,270 people in Suffolk took up apprenticeships which is much higher than in previous years.  But should we be celebrating or is it the case that youngsters really have little or no choice these days other than to take up an apprenticeship when they finish school/college/university?  My 19 year old son recently took on an apprenticeship for admin work after getting all his qualifications, he works nearly a 40 hour week for just over £2.60 an hour!  I call that slave labour and its scandalous!  Ok, ok, so he's got something to put on his CV at the end of the apprenticeship you can say, but there will be no guarantee that this firm will keep him on at the end of his course, and if they do, they'll have to increase his pay won't they.  My guess is that they'll just say goodbye and take on yet another apprentice at £2.60 an hour.  The Government keeps ranting on about how they've got unemployment down and how good it is that companies are taking on apprentices but it is just another one of their scams.  I can't help feel sorry for youngsters and who can blame them if they don't want to take up an apprenticeship if they're being paid such a low amount?


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Sentinel R inactive
It's all lies and statistcs...I work with young people and a significant proportion of them don't get a job at the end when the government subsidy runs out. Its just one way of massaging the figures so that the scandalous truth about the number of young people unable to access work doesn't come out, by keeping them on low-paid apprentice schemes (many of which are simply entry level jobs for which no meaningful training is really required) and in college courses which prepare them for nothing they can make the figures look better than they are. Its still more money than they £56 per week an 18-25yr old gets on JSA.

It sucks, but is just part of a bigger cover-up...apparently more people are in work these days, but that doesnt take account of the number of people taking two or three jobs where one full time one is what they need.
S F inactive
Yes, you can tell that its a con just by looking at which companies are taking on apprentices.  I accept that some firms may have good intentions but then there are the unscrupulous ones out there who are out to make a fast buck at these youngsters expense.  Can you believe that you can get an apprenticeship in doughnut making?  That surprised me, I half expect to see an apprenticeship in toilet cleaning next!  But I'll give my son credit as he said he'd rather work for a small amount than be on JSA which is demoralising to say the least.  I can't help feeling guilty as he worked so hard throughout his childhood hoping that this would secure him a decent career when he finished his schooling.   I fear for this year's school leavers, I really do ....   :(
Spotty Dog
"I fear for this year's school leavers, I really do ....   :(" .......  There will be no school leavers this year for those currently in year 11 must remain in education until they are 17 years old. There will also be none leaving in 2015 as those currently in year 10 will remain in education until they are 18 years old.   That, at least, should make the government's figures look even better.
James M
On the plus side, as a business owner myself, I'd much rather take on someone who made the sacrifice of doing an apprenticeship than someone who sat on the dole.  Going to Uni these days is also a massive sacrifice which you have to shell out for, so in some ways apprenticeships are not as hard as that.  An apprenticeship might be a con for the govt to massage their figures, but it's better than doing nothing at all, both for the apprentice and any future employer.
Jean G
i to feel for the youngsters today ,it must be really hard to make a decision on what to do ,wether to stay on or try and get a job . when my children left 6th form they were able to find a job ,which they were very fortunate but it was not easy by any means and that was about 10 years ago .
my youngest daughter has a degree in russian and could not get a job of any discription to do with that and has ended up working in insurance doing nothingg whatsoever to do with her degree .
what hope do these youngsters have nowadays .
Totally agree. What we need is proper full time meaningful jobs for everyone, not just our young people. It must be so hard for kids nowadays to keep positive & try and find some job or something to aspire to and aim at. We need to make Britain great again!
James M
Unfortunately, manufacturing is driven by labour costs, and labour costs a lot in the UK due to minimum wage and large govt spending driving up taxation.  This means companies go to the far east to make stuff.

Until we can equalize labour costs across the world this will be the case.
Michael T
I agree, it's a sad situation that the youngsters find themselves in. When a person is in the last 2 years of their working lives heading toward retirement, would it not be beneficial for the the company to allow a youngster to work (an apprenticeship, government aided) alongside that  person?, who has a great deal of knowledge and practical experience and advice to pass on, this would provide the company with continuity, it would benefit all concerned yes, even the person who is retiring as they would, I'm sure, feel they have contributed to the future of our youngsters. Any thoughts on how this may be achieved if at all?????.
Peter L
I am one who believes youngsters are feeling the brunt of The National Debt, but Uni Students with degrees and UniDebt, are worse off than an Apprenticeship which trains you for a Productive life in Industry & are a National asset when they are working productively, being paid by result. You can't beat Skill motivation and flexibility.
Alexandra B
It's all about tweaking the figures. Those on workfare that only get their benefit are not included in the unemployment figures and the last time I looked at those, it was something along the lines of 800,000 people. A fair amount of people to shift in to the employed status.
Michael T
It would be interesting to know what the figures are for "presently employed trades people or white collar workers" who will be retiring in the next few years?. Everyone keeps banging on about our ageing population?. I am sure that we have the required number of students etc to fill many of the roles?.
Olive Q
Lofty Heights is a new social enterprise where we have created training, mentoring and real paid work opportunities for young people, who for a variety of reasons have not worked before. Six months on the time invested in them, building their confidence and self esteem is reaping rewards not just for the young people involved but for the customers who use our loft emptying service. The sad thing is that if we cannot grow the business sufficiently then these young people may be out of work again. By using our services not only can you be assured of an honest, reliable and cost efficient service, but also know that you are helping us to  make a difference to the future life chances of young people.
I'm with Lofty Heights

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