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The Brexit clock is ticking – time for Hammond to boost apprenticeships

Full article here – https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/nov/18/apprenticeships-budget-hammond-skills-shortages-brexit

Extracts below.

Despite the compelling picture painted in this article, Ray Brogden, COO of Qualifi points out that there is an alternative to the traditional three-year full-time degree and often very high debt associated with tuition fees of £9,250 in addition to maintenance loans. In addition to apprenticeships, including advanced, higher and degree levels, Vocationally-Related Qualifications provide another route in to employment, Advanced Learner Loan recognised further and higher education while working, at a fraction of the cost of attending University full-time with flexible study mores, progression routes and options to top up to Honours and Masters Degrees and DBA. Please visit the Qualifi website for additional information, including http://qualifi.net/vocational-pathways/

In the Budget on Wednesday, Chancellor Philip Hammond will be expected to address the problem of skills shortages in Britain, as demands for more investment in schools and training escalate in an economy needing more workers like Ratcliffe. After years of underinvestment in workplace training, and faced with the prospect of firms losing access to migrant labour, the UK needs to bolster its domestic workforce. Companies are increasingly reporting shortages of key skills.

Despite a government push on apprenticeships, few employers have responded. The number of apprentices starting in May, June and July was down by 61% compared with the same time last year, raising doubts over the government’s pledge of 3 million new apprentices by 2020.

Figures from the European Commission’s statistics body, Eurostat, show that British companies invest half as much per worker in vocational training as the EU average and that investment in skills has fallen by 9% in real terms over the past decade.

Developments in technology are also putting a greater emphasis on skills, with 15 million jobs thought to be at risk from automation. And with the productivity of UK employees stubbornly refusing to rise, additional spending on training could boost efficiency levels.

With tuition fees at over £9,000 a year, many young people are put off higher education at a time when the cost of living is rising.

The Confederation of British Industry has made protecting per-pupil funding in schools a key priority in its submission to the chancellor ahead of the budget. Skills, training and the country’s industrial strategy will also be key themes for the group. Director general Carolyn Fairbairn says investing in education and training is the “best economic growth strategy we have”.

In conclusion, Ray Brogden suggests in the absence of employer spending on training, a fall in the number of apprentices being taken on by companies, continued confusion and consternation in relation to the employer levy; might it be a good idea for you to take control of your own continued education (after all you are the customer), reduce the very high debt burden associated with attending University full-time and instead earn while you learn through taking one of the vocationally related higher education qualification routes. There is an alternative to the apprenticeship and the traditional University degree systems.