There’s been a remarkable reversal in public comments about apprenticeships since the 2010 general election. Before May 2010, generally speaking people on the left frequently praised them whilst those in the Liberal Democrats or on the right tended not to have much to say about them. Since May 2010, the Lib Dems in particular frequently talk up the government’s record in hugely increasing the number of apprentices whilst those on the left frequently implicitly knock apprenticeships. They don’t directly rubbish them of course, but rather dismissively knock figures about employment as being puffed up by including apprenticeships as if the growth in them isn’t something to value.
What is rarely heard in such criticisms are the actual views of apprentices themselves – and no wonder, because rather inconveniently for those who think someone being an apprentice somehow isn’t doing something proper and worthwhile, apprenticeships are massively popular with those who take part, as this set of fascinating figures show: