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Apprenticeship starts in SMEs

Apprenticeship starts among SMEs have been falling since 2017 in all regions in England except for London.

Large businesses in the capital most often use apprenticeships (with a skew to higher level qualifications in Subjects like Business and Accounting) to re-skill existing employees, creating a very top-heavy system. Large businesses are nearly three times less likely to use apprenticeships exclusively as a recruitment tool than micro businesses (fewer than 10 employees), and half as likely as small businesses (fewer than 25 employees). This has created an unbalanced system of disproportionately greater apprenticeship starts among large businesses in richer regions such as London and the South East.

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Course Correction: Why we need to reform apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are failing working class school leavers, and will undermine efforts to level up without significant reform.