Labour pledges to match university numbers with apprenticeships by 2025

In a speech to his party conference in Manchester, Labour leader Ed Miliband announced that a Labour government would boost the number of school-leavers becoming apprentices to match the number going to university by 2025, as part of a 10-year plan to transform the UK.

The announcement is the latest in a series of FE policies from Labour which has included plans to transform top-performing FE colleges in England into ‘institutes of technical education’ and new technical degrees backed by employers and universities.

Kirstie Donnelly, UK managing director of City & Guilds, said all parties should have work-based learning on their agenda ahead of next year’s general election. “However what’s important to focus on is the quality of apprenticeships, not just the quantity. What we need now are details from Labour about how these additional apprenticeships will be created and how they intend to ensure that quality remains high. We know from experience that simply promising more apprenticeships is not enough. We need schools to offer robust careers advice so young people are aware of their options and we also need to see businesses work with awarding bodies to ensure consistent high-quality training.”