The Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy, formed from the Education and Business Select Committees, has published a report on the Government’s apprenticeships policies. It suggests that the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy – to be introduced from next week – and the target of three million ‘apprenticeship starts’ by the end of the Parliament are blunt instruments that show a lack of focus.
The Committee says the Government should place far greater emphasis on outcomes, judging the success of apprenticeships by, for example, whether individual apprentices secure employment. Ministers should also look at how apprenticeships can help close the skills gap, including by restructuring the Levy on a sectoral and regional basis.
The report welcomes the creation of the Institute for Apprenticeships, which it expects will play a major role in improving quality in the future. However it cautions that the new body must be given sufficient capacity and independence if it is to succeed. It also calls for more support for apprentices themselves, which could include changes to the benefits system, more subsidised fares on public transport or even direct financial support such as bursaries.
For more information on the Apprenticeship Levy, and how it will affect your organisation, click here.