A 16-year old engineering trainee from Oxford has become the two millionth apprentice to have started a practical training scheme since 2010, a major milestone in the government’s efforts to boost apprenticeship uptake.
Despite the recent decrease in the number of new apprentices as revealed in official figures, the UK Business Secretary Vince Cable said reaching the landmark was a testament to the government’s commitment to apprenticeships.
"This isn't just about numbers. From space engineering to TV production to legal services, apprenticeships are the ticket to a great job and a route employers trust to access the skills they need," Cable said.
Apprenticeships, offering an alternative path to university studies, provide young people with hands-on training to acquire skills necessary to get a job or develop a business.
The two millionth apprentice, Paige McConvile, is currently working with advanced scientific instruments maker FMB Oxford.
"Paige and her employer are a shining example of how apprenticeships give young people the chance to start a career and give businesses the talent to grow,” Cable commented.
However, despite the impressive number of apprentices that have embarked on various training schemes since 2010, official data show that the apprenticeship uptake is slowing down. While between the years 2012 and 2013 there were 510,000 new apprentices, the number dropped to only 440,400 between 2013 and 2014.
Cable also announced 22 new apprenticeships, in professions including civil engineering and health and social care, which have been designed by employers who are part of a government scheme that sees firms create apprenticeships to meet the needs of their industry.