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Apprenticeships suffering high dropout rate

Latest data reveals almost half or apprentices leave training before completion.

A recent report by EDSK (Education and Skills) has revealed that 47% of students dropout of their apprenticeships before they’re complete. This comes as a huge blow to the industry, which is desperately waiting for new talent to join the ranks and plug a gap in the labour force.

The main reason for the low competition rate is the quality of the courses being offered, with young learners feeling their expectations are not being met. Pay is also an issue, with rates below minimum wage, at £4.81.

However, pay rates mentioned in the report contrast other data that suggests you can make a decent living while training. Demand issues have seen earnings as high as £20,000 a year to pick up new skills.

Other reasons those on apprenticeship programmes didn’t complete their training include:

  • Not enough time
  • Training not as good as hoped
  • Apprenticeship badly run / poorly organised
  • Didn’t want to work in job training for
  • Believed formal training wasn’t needed to pick up skills

Since 2018, the apprenticeship award rate has fallen year by year. This has sparked debates into whether courses meet basic standards and how accessible apprenticeships are to disadvantaged youngsters.


Number of apprenticeship awarded year on year


Research conducted by the Sutton Trust found that degree apprenticeships available for people from low-income families, is lower than standard degrees.

Apprenticeships have traditionally been an alternative route to training, with admissions relying less on exam results and more on a willingness to learn new skills. However, the latest data suggests that apprenticeships are becoming as elitist as going to university.

Ofsted have commented on the issue, promising to review all training providers by 2025. Colleges that offer skills based training have not been checked for 10 years.

In November 2022, it was revealed that 80% of primary and secondary schools lost their outstanding status, with some schools missing out on a review for up to 15 years.

There clearly needs to be changes to how education providers are regulated, across all levels. As well as a review into accessibility for underprivileged people in the UK.

Tradesman Talk

Have you offered an apprenticeship through your business? Do you think more needs to be done to encourage those from disadvantage backgrounds to learn new skills?

As always, leave your comments below, and click the social links to share this news.

Until next time, make sure it’s Tradesman Saver.

Mark McPherson

Mark McPherson has an MA in Creative Writing and has been crafting content for over a decade. He writes for a range of niches, including the construction industry and insurance sector. Mark has worked internationally as a content writer and teacher.

All articles by Mark McPherson

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