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Call for greater council input on apprenticeships

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More young people are completing their apprenticeships than was the case five years ago, but more council involvement is required in making on-the-job training a success, watchdog Ofsted said.

In its new report Learning from the Best, the inspectorate said that less than half of all trainees completed their apprenticeships in 2005, but the figure rose to more than 70% last year.

Ofsted called on the National Apprenticeships Service to work with local authorities and sector skills councils to improve initial advice and guidance about apprenticeships to youngsters aged 14 and above.

However the call comes at a time when many authorities are being forced to scale back their universal information, advice and guidance  work because of in-year cuts to the main grant that funds it.

Ofsted said that while some skills areas were seeing better results than others, careful screening and selection processes for potential apprentices appeared to be one factor driving the improved completion rates.

Chief inspector Christine Gilbert, right, urged all employers and training providers to study the report’s best-practice examples.

“It is a practical guide designed to help providers and employers support apprentices with stretching and realistic training, setting them on their way to highly successful careers,” she said.

Almost 240,000 young people started apprenticeships in 2008-9 alone.

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