National Apprenticeship Week: Drop in number of apprentices due to pandemic

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The coronavirus pandemic is likely to see the number of apprentices due to take up jobs over the last year cut by half.

That means up to 100,000 fewer will start work than expected with many in our region.

Areas around Gatwick and Heathrow will be badly hit with most of the aviation industry at a standstill. 

The news comes at the start of National Apprenticeship Week with the slogan - 'Build the Future.'

The Government is offering employers £2,000 for each new apprentice they take on. But many companies are closed and simply can not employ them. 

There are calls for the Government to offer more help with fears the current situation could lead to a skills shortage in the years to come. 


Dan Cue is an apprentice electrician Credit: ITV Meridian

Dan Cue, from Fareham, is an apprentice electrician and has been continuing his apprenticeship throughout the pandemic.


Network Rail has apprentices helping to maintain the network during lockdown.   Credit: ITV News

Network Rail has one of the most respected schemes in the country with apprentices helping to maintain the network during lockdown.  

Apprentice Motiejus Stankevicius and team leader Mohammed Isa say their work has been vital to allow key workers to travel and say the apprentice scheme has been vital to them. 

Luke Jermy is a Great Western Railway apprentice at Reading Credit: ITV News

It is really important to have apprenticeships especially if people do not want to do classroom study at college or university. It means they can go out and do what they want to do. It is also important for people who may not be on a higher income who can get the same qualifications in a different way.

Luke Jermy, GWR Apprentice