Jobs guarantee for apprentices would curb high drop-out rate

All apprentices should be guaranteed jobs at the end of their training, delegates at the TUC conference heard yesterday.

The GMB union insisted the move was necessary to reduce the high numbers of young people dropping out of apprenticeships.

Speaking in support of a motion on apprenticeships, GMB Luton branch secretary Edna Rolph told delegates: “The government’s target [500,000 apprenticeships being offered per year from 2020] is sensible. But it needs to go with guaranteed jobs on completion and payment of the national minimum wage.

“Unless these conditions are applied to all apprenticeships, there will still be a high drop-out rate,” she added. “Companies recognising trade unions currently have a completion rate of 88-96%. This is three times the rate of non-recognising companies.”

The motion, brought by construction union Ucatt, was passed unanimously. It called for the TUC to campaign for all government contracts to require suppliers to provide apprenticeships.

Skills secretary John Denham yesterday told the TUC congress in Brighton that the minimum weekly wage payable to apprentices would rise from £80 to £95 next year.

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