On the 4th of June, Boris Johnson made a pledge to guarantee apprenticeships for young people as a result of the pandemic. This represents very good news for many of you who are extremely concerned about whether they would be able to pursue and apprenticeship after the Covid 19 crisis. However, the Prime Minster’s pledge did not contain any detail about how this plan would be put into action and many have questioned whether it would be possible.
The UK will undoubtedly be in a very extreme economic recession after the pandemic and most commentators predict that unemployment will hit levels not seen since the 1980s, when 3 million people did not have jobs. The worst hit by this downturn will be people from age 18-24, which is very bad news for would be apprentices.
It is generally agreed the government needs to step in, take action and invest to ensure that young people gain the skills to enable the UK’s recovery. His pledge was therefore welcome news. The problem will be that companies who are cutting back on staff will not be prioritising taking on apprentices. That is unless the government is prepared to make large financial contributions to training apprentices.
Johnson has used the word, ‘interventionist’ on a number of occasions. This word means that the government ‘intervenes’ by providing funding and is usually something Labour has been more comfortable with than the Conservatives. It does indicate that that companies will be financially encouraged to recruit apprentices and receive government assistance. However, as yet no details have emerged and young people can only hope that this wil become clear very soon.
The economy will need to re-shape and it might be that apprenticeships are encouraged in areas like high tech, health care and engineering which have seen growth.
Stay up to date with government’s apprenticeship plans.