§ 34. Mrs. Shields
asked the Paymaster General how many 1986 school leavers have begun apprentice training; and if he will give comparative figures for 1979 and 1983.
§ Mr. Trippier
This information is available only in part; figures for 1986 school leavers are not available. In 1979, just over 90,000 school leavers in England and Wales began apprentice training. The comparative figure for 1983 is 28,000 which is increased to 57,000 if an estimate of apprentices and other long-term trainees on YTS is included in the total. Comparable figures are not available for Scotland.
The numbers entering traditional apprenticeships are becoming increasingly irrelevant as a measure of the real level of skills training being undertaken as industry's skill needs change. For many industries, including the expanding new technology sector, apprenticeship is not the usual means of achieving full skills status. YTS is now established as a major route into work and training for school leavers.