Review of Foundation Apprenticeship Provision

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 21st April 2022.

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Photo of Jamie Halcro Johnston Jamie Halcro Johnston Conservative

I am on record as being an enthusiast for foundation apprenticeships, but the HMIE review must give us all cause for concern. The review noted real weaknesses in the ability to access foundation apprenticeships across Scotland’s schools and in the promotion of apprenticeships to young learners and noted confusion among schools and providers about how the frameworks operate. It also acknowledged that

“In many schools, withdrawal rates are very high, ranging between 50% and 100% of young people leaving their programme early.”

I recognise the issues caused by the pandemic, but the minister must acknowledge that serious alarm bells are being rung about the policy and that many of those alarms predate Covid. Foundation apprenticeships have the potential to make a real difference. What will the minister do to ensure that those opportunities are not squandered due to a lack of support from Government?