Factors affecting apprenticeship completion in Scotland
Greig, Malcolm Stewart
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The demand from employers in Scotland and the rest of the UK for experienced workers with practical skills continues to outpace supply. Despite this, the number of people enrolling for and successfully completing apprenticeships remains modest, and pressure for young people to enter university straight from school has never been higher. It is within this environment that this thesis investigates the factors associated with successful apprenticeship completion. Previous research has shown that completion is influenced by an apprentice’s personal characteristics, their employer, the training received and wider labour market conditions. This thesis develops a conceptual model of apprenticeship completion which proposes that the above factors will drive an apprentice’s likelihood of completing, and draws on statistical analysis of 79,000 apprentice leavers in Scotland to test this model with respect to the Scottish apprenticeship system, contrasting the findings with existing research. By doing so, it represents the first econometric analysis of apprenticeship leavers undertaken in Scotland. The model results show that the key determinants of completion include age, gender, size of employer and occupation framework. The theoretical contribution made by this thesis is to develop a model of completion that builds on previous research, while the empirical contribution is to test this model in the Scottish context and thereby add to the current understanding of apprenticeship completion both in Scotland and beyond.