The Social Mobility Commission have published its State of the Nation 2021 report this week (26 July 2021) that takes a long look at the effects of the pandemic on employment, social and educational chances of young people and adults. While there is much to commend, there is a clear lack of understanding by the report writers, about the purpose of apprenticeships in England. A headline from the report states that Apprenticeships are failing to reach their social mobility “potential” and must be better targeted at the most disadvantaged. The report also suggests The pandemic has further “exacerbated” the pre-existing trend towards higher apprenticeships, with higher apprenticeships rising from 18 per cent of starts from August to January in 2018-19 to 32 per cent in the same period in 2020-21 which, according to the report, further reduces opportunities for learners from low socio-economic backgrounds who are less likely to be on these programmes.
UVAC has carefully considered its response. On the key point that Apprenticeships can be and should be a powerful tool for social mobility we would not disagree with the Commission. We would also agree that far more needs to be done to ensure Apprenticeships delivers on the social mobility agenda. In other areas there are some flaws in the Commission’s analysis. Download our position paper HERE.Social-Mobility-Commission-27jul2021