Apprenticeship participation data reported by HM Government’s Department for Education for the first two quarters of the 2018/19 academic year, shows that 602,400 participants in England were engaged onto an apprenticeship scheme. Of the 602,400:

  • 130,100 were aged under 19 years and
  • 25,500 have learning difficulties and/or disabilities

Furthermore, 8,800 traineeship starts have been reported to date in 2018/19. Of these, 7,200 trainees were aged under 19 years.1

All parties involved in apprenticeships or traineeships, have a legal and moral duty to take reasonable action to minimise risk of harm to those in their care. However, many employers recruiting young and vulnerable staff or providing any form of work-related learning, do not realise that they have the primary duty of care and unfortunately, many have inadequate safeguarding measures in place.

Safeguarding is the overarching term used to describe the protection of the health, well-being and human rights of individuals. In the context of the workplace, this includes discrimination, radicalisation and all forms of abuse. Safeguarding legislation applies to young workers aged 18 years 2 or children, defined in law as those under the age of 18, in addition to those up to the age of 25 with learning difficulties or disabilities and vulnerable adults,3 defined as over 18 years of age who may be unable to protect themselves from harm or exploitation.

A welcome support service has been launched by specialist organisation, Corporate Safeguarding, in the form of a Safeguarding Compliance Audit designed for employers of young and vulnerable workers such as apprentices and trainees. This due diligence tool aids compliance with legislation and statutory responsibilities, helps mitigate risk, raises safeguarding standards, encourages improved corporate governance and responsibility for young people, children and vulnerable adults’ welfare in workplace settings.

Commenting on the launch of this service Mark Bramah, Managing Director of Corporate Safeguarding, said: “There are thousands of children, young people and vulnerable adults entering the workplace every month. Our own work suggests that there is real need for an independent, evaluation process to raise safeguarding standards to better protect them. Our PEMS® Safeguarding Audit helps corporates manage this requirement in a responsible, structured, proactive way, as it determines risk levels of engagements and provide a clear diagnosis of where improvements can be made. We know that when business leaders create a positive culture around safeguarding, it results in a happier, healthier and more profitable organisation. Recognising and taking action to improve safeguarding standards also provides a visible leadership statement.”

For further information please contact us:
T: +44 (0)207 917 6804

1 Dept for Education. Further Education and Skills, England: March 2019.
2 Legislation Apprenticeships Skills Children & Learning Act 2009.
3 Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.