Politician claims apprenticeships are rarer than Oxbridge places
It is harder to secure an apprenticeship position than a place at Oxford or Cambridge University, the shadow skills secretary has claimed.
Speaking to the Telegraph, David Willets argued that the government has failed to provide adequate places for students wishing to study an alternative to A-levels, even though the mandatory school leaving age is set to rise to 18 in 2013.
He cited figures from the Learning and Skills Council which showed that despite the promise of 500,000 apprenticeship places last year, only 239,000 were actually available.
Mr Willets said good work training schemes can offer young people "fantastic opportunities", adding: "We need to expand vocational provision by making it much easier for employers to train young people."
Plans are currently underway to create 5,000 arts apprenticeships as part of the Creative Britain: New Talents for the New Economy scheme.