One in five apprentices in England fail an mandatory qualification in English and maths

CITB Apprenticeships is to give apprentices extra help with maths and English in an attempt to stem the number of youngsters who fail to complete their courses.

Those who have not attained the minimum standards in either subject at school have to take an additional, mandatory, qualification in both disciplines.

However around 20% of apprentices in England fail to pass these additional tests as well, a situation CITB Apprenticeships’ head Steve Hearty describes as a “terrible waste of talent”.

The CITB’s £350,000 scheme aims to raise the attainment level by making the teaching more relevant and accessible, “and empowering the learner”.

The changes to the way the subjects are taught will see the use of a new online diagnostic tool to assess learners’ level of knowledge; the creation of videos “which help bring maths to life by showing how it is used in a real-life, construction context”, and creating informal, pod-based learning environments, “where apprentices can work together and problem-solve in small teams”.

Hearty said he hoped the revamp would “boost the number of apprentices passing their courses, so these young people can make the most of their skills.

“It will also offer value for construction employers, who need for workers with the right training and qualifications alongside sound knowledge of English and maths.”