Desperate to have something new to offer, David Cameron now promises 3 million more apprenticeships during the next Parliament. Estimated at £300 million per annum, these would come at the expense of further benefit cuts for families and unemployed young people. According to the Tories, reducing total benefit eligibility ‘within the first few days’ of a new government would save £135 million while another £120 million would be clawed back by withdrawing housing benefit for young people on Job Seekers Allowance. It goes without saying the cuts would worsen poverty levels and homelessness, but it’s unlikely that anywhere near this number of new apprenticeships would ever be created.
It’s true that approaching 2 million apprenticeships have been established in the current Parliament, but, particularly during the early years,the majority have been for adults, often existing employees who had been reclassified as apprentices in order to be eligible for government…
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