Far too many apprenticeships in England fail to prepare young workers for permanent employment warns Will Davies – a large scale employer in the construction sector.
"Our apprenticeship system needs to be restructured along the lines of the German model," said Mr Davies. "Far too many apprenticeships available in England are too short and not rigorous enough."
A study published by the Boston Consulting Group for the Sutton Trust found that only 61,000 of new apprenticeships in England were for young people, compared to Germany where there were 570,000 apprenticeships for young workers.
"In England there are far too many organisations inventing and promoting training opportunities," said Mr Davies – managing director and founder of property maintenance and refurbishment company aspect.co.uk
The Boston Consulting Group study reported that there were 18,000 different qualifications on offer in England for vocational training but in Germany there were only 330.
"Employers have to be instrumental in designing apprenticeship training because they know the skills that are employable to them but they need support from government," said Mr Davies.
"In England less than 20% of employers are offering apprenticeship training but in Germany more than half of all employers train young workers," he said.
aspect.co.uk has developed its own system of 'Boot Camps' to select candidates for their fully-paid trade apprenticeships where youngsters are put through a series of fitness, literacy and numeracy tests.
"The individuals who are prepared to contribute the most to a boot camp are the individuals who aspect.co.uk has benefited most from employing," said Mr Davies.
aspect.co.uk held a Boot Camp this week at their South London headquarters in conjunction with 'Go Think Big'. Go Think Big is a social action partnership (backed by O2 and Bauer Media) created last year to help young people (aged between 16 and 25) develop their work skills and improve their employability.