The government’s apprenticeships drive is failing to deliver for young people in England – with enrolments flatlining among under-25s, the The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission says.

The Commission says apprenticeship starts for under-25s rose by 4% from 2010-14 , compared with 17% for over-25s, and most training courses taken were not a step up from the apprentice’s previous level of study, it added.

But the report said: “The overall growth in apprenticeship starts has been driven by large increases in participation by over-25s. While youth apprenticeships have roughly flatlined since the early years of the decade, starts by over 25s are over 150,000 higher in 2014/15 compared to 2009/10.”

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