Shame! Government only 87% of the way to meeting its target!

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The Tories are laying into the government over its “failure” on apprenticeships.

Soulds bad, doesn’t it? Especially when David Willets is saying it will take twenty years for the government’s target of 130,000 apprenticeships per year to be met.

But wait…how have they calculated it?

There were 112,600 apprenticeships started last year. I’d say that’s pretty good – we said 130,000 by 2011, and we’re 87% of the way there.

There were 111,800 the previous year – the year in which the pledge was made.

So, David Willets has taken the change in apprentices over a single year (and that a year in which Britain first entered an official recession since the early 1990s) and extrapolated that into a trend. If a man without a basic grasp of statistics can be revered in the Tory Party for having “two brains”, what does it say about the rest of them?

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