10 August 2009
Apprenticeship funding cutbacks 'could lead to age discrimination claims'
Cutbacks in funding for adult apprenticeships could result in workers claiming age discrimination, it has been suggested.
According to Personnel Today, the head of HR at a hospitality company who approached the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) about securing finance for apprentices aged over 25 was told that employers can no longer expect to receive money for apprentices over this age unless they are part of a 'priority group'.
The source claimed that he had been informed that the new policy was a reaction to the fact that apprenticeships had been oversubscribed.
Responding to the development, legal expert Guy Lamb said: "The decision itself is not discriminatory ... but this is indirect discrimination as younger people are more likely to get chosen [for apprenticeships]."
He added that there is "certainly scope" for older people to bring age discrimination cases.
Meanwhile, Rachel Krys, campaign director for the Employers Forum on Age (EFA), described the LSC's move as "very negative".
Founded in 1996, the EFA describes itself as the UK's leading authority on age.
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