Young Apprenticeship programmes were announced in 2004 by Gordon Brown, who stated:
“This will be an exciting prospect for any pupil wanting to pursue industry specific vocational programmes on top of the core national curriculum...
They will be a high quality opportunity for motivated pupils who could spend up to two days a week in the workplace learning a trade. Initial opportunities will be in engineering, automotive industries, business administration, logistics, and the arts and creative industries.”
Young Apprenticeships (YA) gave motivated 14-16 year old pupils the opportunity to pursue industry-specific vocational and vocationally-related learning programmes alongside the National Curriculum. Learners attended courses for two days a week (or equivalent) over two years of the programme, which included undertaking 50 days’ work experience.
By September 2010, recruitment to Young Apprenticeships had increased to the provision of 10,000 places. However, in March 2011, the Department for Education announced that there would be no new starts on the pilot scheme. Those who had gained places in the previous years would be allowed to continue their training, receiving financial support in years 2011-12 and 2012-13.
The coalition Government stated that the pilot would end due to the high delivery costs which were not justified in the current economic climate.