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(30 Posts)
Mishap Fri 20-Feb-15 14:09:09

I felt disappointed in Milliband's promise that there would be an apprenticeship place for any school leaver with 2 A-levels.

I had hoped that apprenticeships would be aimed mainly at the non-academic whose practical skills continue to be under-valued and under-supported. If all the apprenticeships are taken by people with 2 A-levels, what hope is there for youngsters who cannot manage a GCSE?

GillT57 Fri 20-Feb-15 14:15:23

I think what he said was 2 A levels or equivalant which presumably means BTec or whatever. Back to HND or OND type studies so suiting those who are not so academic and are more practical, but have the determination and drive to work hard with an aim in mind. I believe there is a great college sponsored by JCB which offers a mix of work experience/apprenticeships in engineering, and as they are an employer they know what they need.

pompa Fri 20-Feb-15 15:24:39

I suspect his may be as a result of pressure from employers who need to get young people interested in apprenticeships that need a high academic achievement. There is a shortage of applicants at this level as they head for university instead. Many skilled jobs in modern industries require that high academic knowledge.
Even 55 years ago, I needed specific academic qualifications to get my engineering apprenticeship. That was the Pre-national certificate which enable one to start on the road to an HNC/HND.

Eloethan Fri 20-Feb-15 15:33:47

I agree Mishap. I think there should be at least some types of apprenticeship that don't require A levels.

pompa Fri 20-Feb-15 15:58:16

There are very few skilled trades that do not need reasonable Maths, science and English knowledge, certainly to GCSE.

I see that some apprenticeships today are only 1 year, at the most 4. This seems amazingly short to learn a skill. My apprenticeship was 7 years, although the last 2 years were at my option as I decided to change direction slightly.

Mishap Fri 20-Feb-15 16:08:15

My nephew, who has some learning difficulties has managed, to get an apprenticeship with a body shop (cars, not people!). His brother (also with no paper qualifications) also found an apprenticeship in catering.

It would be a pity if this sort of apprenticeship was not also encouraged and funded, as well as those of a more technical nature.

MargaretX Fri 20-Feb-15 16:14:45

Have you had a heating engineer come by lately? They open up their lap top and seem to have very complicated systems to cope with. Electricians They need a good education to start an apprenticeship and continue with it. If not the employer has to start revision teaching and they don't want to do that nowadays. Ed Milliband is being realistic, and he wants the apprenticeships for those who don't have enough A levels for Uni. Or those who have been to Uni and have regretted it or left.

Mishap Fri 20-Feb-15 16:16:43

But we also need those who simply work with their hands; we do not want young people on the scrap heap or they could fall prey to all sorts of negative influences.

Elegran Fri 20-Feb-15 16:44:27

The young people without A-levels are in need of jobs as well as the ones with them. Not all trades need the ability to do complicated things with a laptop, some of them need a steady hand, a good eye and some muscles.

POGS Fri 20-Feb-15 17:36:17

Well Miliband has guaranteed a job for everyone hasn't he, or did I hear him incorrectly?

Interestingly in my local paper this week they were reporting the fact apprenticeships have risen by 72% on the same period last year.

Nationally apprenticeships are higher now than 2009/2010 which is encouraging data.

Gracesgran Sun 22-Feb-15 08:54:22

There are lower level and higher level apprenticeships and, like Pompa I wonder at the value of some of the shorter ones which tend to be the lower level. There is nothing wrong with giving the training but I think apprenticeship is a misnomer in these cases.

The good thing about the higher level ones is the young person comes out with both qualifications - often a degree - and experience. This is what employers are looking for. We have a huge gap in people with middle level skills. Employers are looking to bring modern manufacturing back to this country but there are very few low skilled jobs in this area now. Their big complaints are a lack of these middle level skills - we do have good numbers of high level skilled people and large numbers willing (or having) to do low skilled jobs but there has been a huge hollowing out of the middle skilled area and consequently of the middle incomes. The other complaint is the lack of infrastructure but that would be another thread.

One area where Gove (who has few redeeming features as far as I am concerned) has hit the nail on the head is that we must get more children to study and continue in the STEM subjects. However, I do hate the way he has gone about trying to do this.

pompa Sun 22-Feb-15 09:00:17

It was this gap in the middle ground that apprecticships usd to bridge, people with practical skills plus high academic qualifications via day release or sandwich courses.

A very close acquaintance has an engineering degree and calls himself an engineer. However he has not a clue when it comes to the simplest practical engineering task (changing a tap washer is beyond him)

Mamardoit Sun 22-Feb-15 17:56:59

Two of mine have done apprenticeships. Both were 18 and had 2 good A levels. There is still lots of academic stuff to do to complete a good craft apprenticeship. They were taught the practical skills on the job.

Also practical skills aren't taught in schools so much now. Mine did 3D design and Design tech. Not a patch on the tech drawing, metalwork and woodwork DH had to do.

durhamjen Sun 22-Feb-15 17:58:56

This is why there need to be more apprenticeships.

Mamardoit Sun 22-Feb-15 18:02:35

The year long apprenticeships require 3-5 gcse grades. They are very basic apprenticeships leading to semi skilled jobs. A proper trade takes longer and will always be a combination of practical and academic.

Penstemmon Sun 22-Feb-15 19:10:37

I agree they need to expand this 'work' route much further and with more innovation than currently. Businesses, generally, seems less interested in investing in their embryonic workforce.

I guess our expectations re 'academic' skills has risen and there is less and less work available for those with difficulty in literacy and numeracy skills. Apprentices in the past would have left school far before the age of 18.

durhamjen Sun 22-Feb-15 20:00:16

I thought you could still leave school at 16 providing you have an apprenticeship to go to, or a job which provides equivalent training.

Penstemmon Sun 22-Feb-15 20:08:02

Yes that is the long as there is an element of accredited training. Cannot be employed before 18 unless apprentice/training involved

Leticia Sun 22-Feb-15 20:22:12

My son is an electrician- a very good one. He started at 16yrs with GCSEs mainly C grade with the odd B. He didn't want A'levels- he wasn't academic - very sad if they all have to get A'levels first now.

Leticia Sun 22-Feb-15 20:23:56

I don't know why everyone is forced down the academic route. I am all for apprenticeships but not by having to do A'levels first.

durhamjen Sun 22-Feb-15 23:03:10

Miliband promised more high-grade apprenticeships for those who are qualified. It did not mean there would be no apprenticeships for those with less than 2 A levels.
As it is, there are a lot of 18 year olds with 2 A levels who leave school and have no work to go to, and end up on the scrap heap.
Therefore I do not see anything wrong with what Miliband promised.

Leticia Mon 23-Feb-15 07:43:10

I don't see anything wrong with it - of course those with A'levels should be able to do it- far more sensible for many than university. I am just saying that it shouldn't become the new 'hoop' and cut out those who are very practical and don't have, or want to have, A'levels.
I am very sceptical about his promise. You need the employers. My son got his college place very early, having passed their tests, it was getting an employer that was the sticking point. He wrote about 200 letters- most got no reply. Luckily he got one in the end.

pompa Mon 23-Feb-15 08:28:09

In many of todays hi-tech industries there is a need for highly qualified young people to enter apprenticeships to learn skills along with degree level education (sandwich courses).

Anya Mon 23-Feb-15 08:30:48

This whole area needs sorting. Too many are going to university who would be better placed in suitable high level apprenticeships if their aim is to be employed. Industry needs highly skilled engineers etc who can equally well learn their trade through good apprenticeships.

But at the same time there needs to be apprenticeships for those who choose to leave school after GCSE and want to learn 'a trade'. Not just 'a trade' either. There should be apprenticeships in service and retail.

Why can't employers, big and small, be persuaded to open up more opportunites by tax incentives - using money clawed back from tax dodging companies.

Leticia Mon 23-Feb-15 09:40:59

They will have to be persuaded if Labour get in and need to keep the promise! 200 letters to find an employer, when you have the correct qualifications and have been accepted on tne college course isn't good enough! My son found an employer 2 weeks before the course started. If he hadn't he would have lost the place.