Tories Try To Bury U-turn On Apprenticeship Cuts

An analysis by education magazine FE Week found funding was set to be cut by 30% for 16 to 18-year-olds. 

Plans were also in place to remove a “disadvantage uplift”, which would have hit urban areas.

But in a statement today, Justine Greening said 16 to 18-year olds and those from disadvantaged backgrounds would get additional funding after all.

She wrote that the new plans would “ensure the opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship is open to everyone, no matter where in England they live, their background or family circumstances”.

Former Skills Minister David Lammy MP, who has lead protests on the cuts, said:

“It is nothing short of a disgrace that the Government published their original cuts of up to 50% during summer recess, without any parliamentary scrutiny or even a formal statement.

Today’s U-turn shows that the Government has begun to listen to the further education sector and to the strong opposition from the Labour Party, particularly when it comes to protecting funding for 16-18 year olds and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Apprenticeships have always been seen as the poor relation of higher education, but if this Government is serious about social mobility they must stop damaging the life chances of working class kids by slashing support for apprenticeships and skills training”.

Lammy has secured a backbench debate on the future of apprenticeship funding, set for next Tuesday.

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