Young people in care want more apprenticeships for students without qualifications.

Currently the majority of apprenticeships are set at ‘level 2’ or above – requiring at least two high grade GCSEs in English and maths.

But according to the latest available government statistics, just one in six looked after children (17.5 per cent) leave secondary school with those qualifications.

Now children in care in Hertfordshire are calling for an increase in the range and number of apprenticeships for those without formal qualifications.

The county council has taken steps to see if the opportunities available could be expanded.

The concern was highlighted in a report to the county council’s children, young people and families cabinet panel on Friday.

It states: “The young people have access to a wide range of apprenticeships and the numbers and range continues to grow.

“However, level 1 apprenticeships tend to be in low skilled jobs that don’t always appeal to young people.”

According to the report the county council has already highlighted their concerns about the “limited number” of level 1 apprenticeships in science, technology, engineering and maths to the Local Enterprise Council (LEP).

“We are continuing to work to expand opportunities,” says the report.

There are currently 24 looked after children or care leavers who are on apprenticeships, ranging from health and social care to electrical installation.

Following the meeting, spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council said: “We are working with employers and apprenticeship providers in partnership with the LEP through the Hertfordshire Skills Strategy to increase the range of opportunities at all levels, that are attractive to young people.”