-A A +A
Select color visibility that suits you Basic theme Dark theme Darker theme Text only

Apprenticeship reforms are failing to deliver

11 June 2019

According a recent Public Accounts Committee report on apprenticeship reforms, The Department for Education has failed to make the progress that it predicted when it reformed the apprenticeships programme in spring 2017. The number of apprenticeship starts fell by 26% after the apprenticeship levy was introduced and, although the level is now recovering, the government will not meet its target of 3 million starts by March 2020.

The Department’s approach to widening participation among under-represented groups has been inadequate. One of the programme’s four main objectives is to draw apprentices from a wider range of social and demographic groups. However, the Department’s targets for apprenticeship starts among the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) population, and among those with a learning difficulty, disability or health problem, are unambitious in that they are below the respective levels of these groups in the working-age population. There are also no gender-based targets for the programme.

Though the report was also critical that the programme is not supporting smaller employers well enough and that too many apprentices are being still trained by sub-standard providers, it did welcome the programme’s greater focus on quality, as more than half of apprenticeships are now started on employer-designed standards rather than the old-style frameworks. 

Click here for the full report