One of the most important reforms to the apprenticeship system in recent years has been the transition from apprenticeship frameworks to employer-designed standards. However, the completion rates for these standards are much lower than for frameworks, with large numbers of apprentices withdrawing early from their programmes. It is vital to understand why so many apprentices do not complete their programmes, and how they could be supported to do so, in order to deliver better results for employers, individuals and the taxpayer.
On behalf of the St Martin’s Group, we have conducted research to explore the experiences, outcomes and destinations of apprentices who complete their programme and those who do not. The research has involved a large-scale survey of apprentices, including a uniquely large sample of non-completers, with follow-up qualitative interviews. It explores: