Sixty per cent of work-based learning is inadequate, according to a government body report.
The Adult Learning Inspectorate’s first annual report finds the standard of adult education and learning in the UK is failing employers.
The report highlights “serious underachievement” and says too few young people receive the quality of training that will prepare them for employment or address the country’s skills shortages.
Leadership and management aspects of training came in for the most criticism with only one of 300 training providers inspected judged as outstanding.
The reports finds that employers training their own staff do the best training.
On average only a third of young people embarking on a Modern Apprenticeship achieve their qualification.
The report found key skills, such as communication and IT were the biggest single cause of young people’s failure to succeed with a Modern Apprenticeship.
David Sherlock, chief inspector at the ALI, said: “We must not make apprenticeships a soft opinion, or betray the young people who see an apprenticeship as preparation for a career, but we need to be realistic about tackling things which do not work.
“This country needs more vocational training, better work-based learning. We must not allow an apprenticeship system, similar to those that work well in other countries, to founder.”