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Wednesday 29 January, Rob Lyons

From zero hours to apprenticeships: young people at work

Listen to this debate from the Battle of Ideas festival 2019.

A recording of a debate at the Battle of Ideas festival on Sunday 3 November 2019. Special thanks to the Federation of Awarding Bodies who partnered with the Academy of Ideas to produce this session.

The UK has relatively low rates of youth unemployment. But as critics point out, this statistic hides a multitude of issues. Starting salaries for graduates are amongst the lowest in the EU. Despite many initiatives to promote apprenticeships, many young people end up in low-paid, ‘gig economy’ or zero-hour jobs with few career prospects. For many years, the response has been the same: more ‘transferable’ or employment-related skills in education and encouraging young people to take up apprenticeships. But are employers and the government doing enough to train employees for the jobs of the future? Are apprenticeships the solution or an unimaginative return to old ideas?

SPEAKERS

Tom Bewick
chief executive, Federation of Awarding Bodies; founder, Transatlantic Apprenticeship Exchange Forum

Harriet Bishop
astrophysics student, University of Glasgow

Dr Ruth Mieschbuehler
senior lecturer in education studies, Institute of Education, University of Derby; author, The Minoritisation of Higher Education Students

Rob Nitsch
chief operating officer, Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education; former professional engineer, British Army; fellow, CIPD and IMechE

Chair: Claire Fox
director, Academy of Ideas; Brexit Party MEP; author, I STILL Find That Offensive!

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