Suzy Davies MS – the Shadow Minister for Education, Skills and Welsh Language – has expressed her concern over the number of apprentices at risk of being made redundant.
Mrs Davies was commenting on data published that indicates some 275 apprentices have been made redundant in the month up to September 25. This included 95 – up from 50 the previous month – and a further 180 who have been made redundant, but are still learning while their provider looks to secure an alternative employer.
According to the figures, those most likely to be affected work in the construction, hospitality, and hair and beauty sectors.
Mrs Davies said:
“The summer’s confusion about young people’s grades and the effect on their university offers is an unfinished story. It’s no excuse to turn a blind eye to our young people who are taking a different route to excellence through apprenticeships.
“If allowed to happen on the Welsh Labour-led Government’s watch, it would be dereliction of duty on an almost unimaginable scale.
“I acknowledge that government here has many priorities at the moment brought on by the pandemic, but Education and Economy Ministers and the Labour Party must focus on other routes to educational excellence, and look for ways to make it easier for SMEs – the most-affected sector – to become part of that.
“All options must be brought to the table, including the reshuffling, as appropriate, of an apprentice’s timetable, or access to the latest iteration of the Economic Resilience Fund. Apprentices bring value to a business which should help it survive Covid – and keeping viable businesses going is what that fund is about
“This is of vital importance for them, their futures, and for our economy during and post-pandemic.”