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Young unemployed overlooked for apprenticeships

With 1.8 million applications for apprenticeships last year, but only 166,000 vacancies to go round - almost 11 applicants for every place - it's little wonder that the Government is seeking to boost the number of positions available, to 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.

A new study from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), funded by the Local Government Association, shows demand for places - especially from young people - is rising.

But it found that younger applicants were having a harder time getting places than their older, more established counterparts.

Two-thirds of intermediate or advanced level apprentices were already employed by their company, the research found, and since 2010 more than two-fifths (42 per cent) of apprenticeship starts have been over the age of 25.

Last year, under 19s made up 56 per cent of applications but only 27 per cent of starts, whereas people aged over 25 made up 7 per cent of applications, but accounted for 37 per cent of starts, the research revealed.

Too few young apprentices

The LGA said that the research painted the picture of a system that was helping companies train their established, older workforce, rather than helping young people from unemployment into work.

'A good apprenticeship can give young people the experience, skills and understanding that can often lead straight into a full-time job,' said Councillor Peter Box, Economy Spokesman for the LGA.

'At present, too many new apprenticeships are low skilled and taken by older people already in work with their employer.

'Too few new apprentices are school-leavers trying to get their first job, and too few are getting the construction skills to build the homes and roads our local communities need.'

Acas publications and services

Acas has information on Apprentices and has published pdf icon Managing Future Talent - A guide for employers [1Mb], which aims to share good practice about how to create a workplace in which young employees can thrive.

The pdf icon Recruiting staff guide [360kb] has all you need to know about recruitment, selection and implementation of induction programmes.

Acas experts can visit your organisation and review your existing recruitment and induction procedures. See Recruitment and Retention: how Acas can help for more details.

Acas also offers practical training on Recruitment, based on its own guidance, taking you through the legal and best practice elements of fair and effective recruitment.

For free, impartial advice and guidance visit Acas Helpline Online.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.

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