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Education in the media: Friday 26 January 2018

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Apprenticeships, Free schools

Today’s Education in the Media looks at the success of free schools in the latest publication of schools league tables and apprenticeship statistics.

Free schools

Education standards continue to rise across England’s secondary schools, as results published yesterday, Thursday 25 January, showed more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are achieving good grades in the core academic subjects.

In particular, the statistics highlighted that free schools are delivering excellent results for their pupils. This growing success of free schools has been covered positively by the i, the Times, PA, TES and in an opinion piece by Mark Lehain, who sits on the advisory council of the New Schools Network, for the Telegraph.

Read more about the performance data in our press release here.


Yesterday, Thursday, 25 January, the Department published the latest apprenticeship and traineeship starts statistics.

There has been widespread coverage of the new figures in the Times, the Guardian, the Financial Times, Telegraph business pages and the Evening Standard.

We are transforming the skills landscape to ensure there are high quality apprenticeship opportunities for millions of people and so that employers have the right skills in their workforce to grow their business and boost their productivity.

We are pleased that there have been over 1.2 million apprenticeship starts since May 2015 and we remain committed to reaching 3 million apprenticeship starts in England by 2020.

We’re working with employers closely to support them in growing their apprenticeship programmes and feedback shows they are positive about the benefits that apprenticeships can bring to their business.

Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Anne Milton said:

The last year has been a period of significant change, it will take time for employers to adjust.

But we must not lose sight of why we introduced our reforms in the first place – to put quality at the heart of this programme, and putting control in the hands of employers.

It is right that they are taking their time to plan ahead, with two years to spend their levy funds, and maximise the opportunities an apprenticeship can bring for both the learner and employer. Feedback we’ve had shows employers are doing exactly that.

Mike Thompson, Director, Early Careers, Barclays:

 The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy should be seen as a huge opportunity and not a cause for concern to businesses.

Establishing your own apprenticeship scheme can seem daunting, but there is huge support out there to help any company interested in setting one up and there are countless benefits that come with bringing apprentices on board.

Simon Blagden, Non-Executive Director, Fujitsu:

 Apprenticeships are a crucial way for Fujitsu to be able to hire and retrain talent in a constantly changing digital industry. Importantly, we have been able to extend apprenticeship training to older age groups, providing an opportunity to reskill experienced staff.

Oliver Mangham, Applications Director, Fairfield Control Systems:

With a 95% retention rate for apprentices, we are confident that we will see a return on the time and cost we have put in as historically that has always been our experience. Fairfield’s current growth and profitability would not be achievable without our apprenticeship programme.

Brian May, Managing Director, Berthon Boat Company:

We are celebrating 100 years servicing both leisure and commercial boats at our Hampshire base which means 100 years of apprentice training at Berthon, enabling the company to replace skills when the older generation retires whilst at the same time building new skills relevant to today’s demands.

Julia Game, Senior Manager, IBM Apprenticeships and School Leaver Schemes:

Our Apprentices are amazing. Some of our first starters have already reached IBM managerial level and are now managing our newest apprentice recruits. The future promises to be even more exciting.

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