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date: 29 August 2012

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Unionlearn welcomes the publication of making apprenticeships more accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises a Department for Business sponsored review by Jason Holt.

Unionlearn particularly agrees with the Holt review's focus on the need to do more to promote apprenticeships in schools and the inconsistency of careers advice available on apprenticeships for young people in years 7-13. As the review notes, this situation could be made worse by the impending changes to careers advice provision in schools.

Unionlearn calls on the Government to respond to this aspect of the review in more detail, setting out how they will achieve the 'parity of esteem' between academic and vocational education that Mr Holt calls for in the review.

Additionally, unionlearn welcomes the Holt review's statements on the 'perceived burden of employment rights', making it clear that all apprentices are entitled to rights under the Employment Rights Act and that the myth of bureaucracy in this areas needs to be tackled.

Unionlearn continues to be concerned that a minority of apprentices are not receiving their employment rights. The recent BIS Apprenticeship Pay Survey revealed that 21 per cent of apprentices in England are being paid less than the legal minimum wage and 10 per cent are being paid less than the Apprentice National Minimum Wage Rate.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

All unionlearn press releases can be found at www.unionlearn.org.uk

The Holt Review can be found here: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/further-education-skills/docs/m/12-891-making-apprenticeships-more-accessible-to-smes-holt-review.pdf

The BIS Apprenticeship Pay Survey can be found here: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/further-education-skills/docs/a/12-p137-apprenticeship-pay-survey-2011.pdf

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Press release (300 words) issued 31 Aug 2012