Government apprenticeship policy is in need of a substantial overhaul says manufacturers’ organisation the EEF, after latest statistics revealed a year on year drop in the number starting of nearly 27%.
The first quarter for the 2017/2018 year showed a total of 114,400 apprenticeship starts, compared to 155,600 for the same period 12 months earlier.
EEF head of education and skills policy Verity Davidge commented: “This worrying trend is not just hampering employers’ ability to get the skills their business needs, it is taking away invaluable opportunities for the next generation to undertake training and secure a future job.
“It is clear the Apprenticeship Levy and wider reforms aren’t working and need a radical rethink. Government must listen to business concerns and ensure the Levy delivers the demand-led system that was promised to employers.”
It is clear the Apprenticeship Levy and wider reforms aren’t working and need a radical rethink
Verity Davidge, head of education and skills policy, EEF
She added that although the drop was not as large as the previous quarter the first quarter figures were “a snapshot of the time when most apprenticeships begin”.
Figures also revealed:
a 38% decrease at intermediate level
an 18.8 decrease at advanced level
a 20% decrease in those under 19
a 30% decrease in those aged 19 and over
The sole increase was in the number of higher apprenticeships, which rose 27% to 11,600.
* AECOM has teamed with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to launch a new apprenticeship scheme to enable participants to gain experience in client, consultant and contractor roles [see photo].
Richard Whitehead, AECOM managing director building + places, said: “This initiative takes into our own hands the development and training of our project managers of the future. It ensures we train them with the exact blend of skills and expertise needed to efficiently and effectively deliver 21st century projects.”