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A “slightly shorter type” of apprenticeship could be explored to help get over-50s to retrain or back into work, the chancellor suggested today.

Jeremy Hunt voiced ambitions for conversations with education secretary Gillian Keegan on that idea to address out-of-work adults and aid the government’s economic growth plans.

Speaking at Bloomberg this morning, the chancellor said that education would be one of the four pillars of his economic growth plans, admitting that “we don’t do nearly as well for the 50 per cent of school leavers who do not go to university as we do for those that do”.

Hunt also said that there were around nine million adults with low basic literacy or maths skills and more than 100,000 school leavers each year who had not reached required standards in maths or English, which made it difficult for those people when they may need to train for several different occupations over the course of their lives.

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