Coronavirus daily round-up: Thursday 26 November

Fiona Simpson
Thursday, November 26, 2020

The number of young people starting apprenticeships this year has decreased compared with last year’s figures due to lockdown, new data shows.

Apprenticeship levels have dropped, ONS figures show. Picture: Adobe Stock
Apprenticeship levels have dropped, ONS figures show. Picture: Adobe Stock
  • Each day, CYP Now will summarise the key issues affecting the children and families sector as it tackles the effects of the pandemic. The daily update signposts children’s services practitioners and leaders to the latest developments, expert views, advice and resources.

Apprenticeship levels drop amid pandemic

Less young people started apprenticeships during 2020 compared with the previous year, new figures from the Office for National Statistics shows.

Some 95,300 people aged 19- to 24 started apprenticeships in 2019/20 compared with 116,000 in 2018/19. 

The number of new starters aged under 19 also dropped from 97,700 in 2018/19 to 76,300 in 2019/20. 

Jane Hickie, managing director at the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, said: “We are sadly hearing of more apprentices becoming unemployed especially in sectors like hospitality and tens of thousands of existing apprentices who can’t complete their programmes right now because of bureaucracy preventing them from being properly assessed while the Covid restrictions remain.”

Government bans Academy Trust’s early Christmas closure

An academy trust has been forced to scrap plans to close its primary schools a week early for Christmas.

Focus Trust announced last week that 15 schools, based in the north west of England and West Yorkshire, would shut on 11 December.

It proposed closing early because of disruption due to Covid but the government said it was a "national priority" to keep schools open.

Schools will now close on 18 December.

Scottish school uniform banks report demand for warm clothing

School uniform banks across Scotland are reporting a surge in demand for warm coats, jackets and warm PE kit as Covid guidelines suggest increased classroom ventilation and a focus on outdoor learning.

The School Bank West Lothian has seen a 40 per cent increase in referrals in September compared with last year.

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