Economy, Employment and Skills, Jobs, Press, Skills

NEETS need preparatory training before starting an apprenticeship

Association of Employment and Learning Providers

Press release – 16 November 2011

Latest youth unemployment data


‘Many NEETS need preparatory training before starting an apprenticeship’, say training providers


The body that represents training providers who train over 70% of apprentices in England has released the following statement in response to the government’s announcements today on tackling youth unemployment and changes to the apprenticeship programme.


Graham Hoyle OBE, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), said:


“Independent training organisations have worked hard with employers over the past 18 months to significantly increase the number of young people taking up apprenticeships as well as improve the skills of the adult workforce.  We believe that today’s announcements represent a good response to the feedback that AELP members have been offering on what would persuade more businesses to sign up to the programme.  It is also important that we expand the capacity of preparatory training programmes to enable more young people who left school with few or no qualifications to embark on a full apprenticeship.”   


AELP has sent to BIS and the Treasury a pre-Autumn Statement submission on apprenticeships and in it, the association has pointed out that the apprenticeship programme, relaunched in 1994, was never set up exclusively for the benefit of young people as a form of job creation.


The submission says: “The apprenticeship brand must not be damagingly stretched by making it a programme for the non-employed or NEETs who are still too far away from meeting the often demanding selection criteria quite properly laid down by employers.  These individuals need flexible preparatory programmes to enable them to enter employed apprenticeships when both ready and employable.”


The submission also addresses other misunderstandings and misconceptions about the programme.


The full AELP submission can be read here:


Two additional points are worth bearing in mind, especially in the current economic climate when other indicators are either flat-lining or heading south.  Firstly, over 262,000 young people in the 16 to 24 age group started an apprenticeship in 2010-11 – a 15.9% increase on the previous year – and these apprenticeships came with a contract of employment at a local business.  Secondly, a record number of apprentices are completing their programmes.  The success rate is now approaching 75% which compares favourably with the best in Europe.




Contact Aidan Relf on 07710 305182


Notes to editors


1. About AELP

The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) is the leading trade association for vocational learning and employment providers in Britain.  The majority of its 600+ members are independent private, not-for-profit and voluntary sector training and employment services organisations.  Membership is open to any provider committed to quality provision and it includes over 50 FE colleges involved in work based learning.


Over 70% of Apprenticeships in England are delivered by AELP members.  More than 70% of the Work Programme prime contractors are AELP members with many other members delivering the programme as sub-contractors.   AELP providers currently engage with almost 300,000 employers across the country and last year they helped 117,240 learners complete an apprenticeship.  184,000 apprentices of all ages are currently on AELP members’ programmes.  182,420 trainees gained stand-alone NVQs and achieved basic skills on members’ programmes in 2010-11.  8,730 young people obtained jobs through the Entry to Employment programme, thanks to AELP members who currently have 24,190 young people on a Foundation Learning programme.



Twitter: @AELPUK



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