The number of people doing apprenticeships in Wales is going up

But there are issues around people actually completing their programmes.

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The Welsh government welcomed the report and said it would work on implementing its recommendations.

More people in Wales are taking up apprenticeships, according to a new report.

The figures, released by Estyn, show an increase in take-up of the work-based learning schemes, where students gain a formal qualification while learning on-the-job.

But the report also found that the completion rate for apprenticeships varies across Wales. Estyn inspectors also found the time taken by learners to finish their qualification differs between providers.

The report calls on providers to address the imbalance in completion dates.

Meilyr Rowlands, Estyn chief inspector, said: “Higher level apprenticeships are an ideal way to recognise people's skills in the workplace and for them to gain a formal qualification while still earning.

The challenge now is to bring completion rates up to the level of other apprenticeships and to increase take-up in priority skill areas such as information technology and engineering.”

Most providers of higher level apprenticeships do not manage them well and many courses are outdated, the report also said.

The failings of providers also means many workers in Wales have to travel to England to get training.

But the report also found that the completion rate for apprenticeships varies across Wales. Estyn inspectors also found the time taken by learners to finish their qualification differs between providers.

The Welsh government welcomed the report and said it would work on implementing its recommendations.

Higher Apprenticeships are equivalent to some university courses and typically take two years to complete alongside the learner's job.

There has been a rise in people taking higher apprenticeships, from 2,470 participants in 2012-13 to 11,130 in 2016-17, which accounted for 24% of all apprenticeships.

Estyn's report, which was commissioned by the Welsh Government, also said many providers did not reflect current practice and the needs of employers.

Without a suitable qualification framework for Welsh Water employees, the company brings in a training provider from England.

The report also said some other large companies such as Go Compare, Centrica, Brains Breweries and the BBC should develop their own apprenticeships because their training needs were not offered elsewhere.

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