How COVID-19 has impacted apprenticeships for young ethnic minorities

A new briefing published by the Runnymede Trust and the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) highlights the issues that apprenticeship schemes have in attracting ethnic minority apprentices, and in guiding them towards recognised achievement.

Key points:

  • Despite some growth in the number of apprenticeship starts by ethnic minority learners, their representation relative to the secondary school population remains low.
  • Much of the growth in apprenticeship starts in the past decade has been driven by older apprentices.
  • Ethnic minority apprentices tend to favour certain sectors: health, public services and care; business, administration and law.
  • White apprentices are more likely to complete the training than their counterparts from ethnic minorities in all sectors except for hospitality.
  • Following the COVID-19 lockdown, vacancies for apprenticeships fell dramatically, including in those sectors favoured by ethnic minority learners.
  • The government’s Kickstart programme runs the risk of undermining the push for greater ethnic minority representation in apprenticeships.

Recommendations from the briefing:

  • All stakeholders should undertake to actively monitor and combat the adverse equality implications of COVID-19.
  • The Department for Education should renew its commitment to reaching the target of raising the participation of ethnic minority learners in apprenticeships by 20 per cent.
  • The government should ensure new employment measures have the same targets as apprenticeship schemes for ethnic minority representation.
  • The government should ensure that the commitment to greater representation in apprenticeship programme decision-making extends to employer bodies.

The briefing is written by Ken Clark and Steve Nolan.

Read the full briefing on the Runnymede Trust website.

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