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The government missed its target of 43,000 traineeships by almost two thirds last year, new data has revealed.

Just 15,500 starts were recorded in 2021/22 – 36 per cent of the goal.

The figures, published by the Department for Education this morning, show that uptake on the pre-employment programme has even begun to decline despite huge investment from the Treasury.

The number of starts achieved last year was 11 per cent down on the 17,400 recorded in 2020/21.

Across both years then-chancellor Rishi Sunak pumped an additional £237 million into traineeships. This was made up of £111 million to “triple” the number of starts in 2020/21 – a target that was missed by half – and an extra £126 million in 2021/22.

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