Apprenticeship training in England – a cost-effective model for firms?


A new report by internationally renowned economist, Professor Dr Stefan Wolter (University of Bern), produced in partnership with the Education Policy Institute (EPI) and Bertelsmann Stiftung with support from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, examines the potential benefits of alternative apprenticeship models in England. Apprenticeships form an integral part of the government’s plans to improve technical skills among young people, and ensure that the UK is sufficiently equipped to meet the needs of the labour market post-Brexit. Despite this, firms in England have expressed varying degrees of confidence with current apprenticeships policy – with some conveying uncertainty over the purported benefits.

Published on the first anniversary of the Apprenticeship Levy, Apprenticeship training in England – a cost-effective model for firms? examines the benefits of a Swiss-style apprenticeship model for English firms. The Swiss model for training apprentices includes longer training programmes, more ‘off-the-job’ training, and is recognised for creating an effective transition from school to the labour market. Switzerland outperforms many European countries in the area of skills. Different variations of the Swiss model were examined, with the cost-benefit analysis assessing ten occupations over a range of sectors in England.

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