The Number of Young People Starting Apprenticeships in Yeovil has fallen by almost 40% in the Last Decade

30 May 2024

The number of people starting apprenticeships in Yeovil has fallen by almost 40% since 2015/16, House of Commons Library research analysed by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

In the Yeovil constituency, there were 520 fewer apprenticeship starting in 2022/23 than the 2015/16

It comes as the Conservative have announced a new policy to boost the number of apprenticeships despite a decline of 172,000 apprenticeship starts per year in England, a fall of over a third.

The Liberal Democrats committed to increase pay for apprenticeships to at least the minimum wage, and to scrap the Apprenticeship Levy. The Levy was introduced by the Conservative government in April 2017. Under current rules, firms with an annual wage bill of above £3m are required to set aside 0.5% of their payroll for apprenticeships.

However, many organisations are unable to use the Levy funds, which if remaining unused for two years are then reclaimed by the Treasury. 

The reduction in people starting apprenticeship is widening the skills shortages, and making it harder for young people to enter the workforce.

 Yeovil Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate, Adam Dance, said:

“Young people across the country are being let down by a Conservative party that has failed to provide the opportunities they deserve and give businesses the flexibility they desperately need. 

“The declining number of people starting apprenticeships in Yeovil shows just how badly broken this Conservative government has left our apprenticeship system.

“Urgent reform is needed. That’s why the Liberal Democrats committed to stop treating apprentices as second class workers by increasing the apprenticeship wage, and to reform the apprenticeship levy to boost numbers and stop this decline.”

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