Concerning fall in apprenticeship starts after years of steady progress

Published on Jobs, Skills and Pay


Concerning fall in apprenticeship starts after years of steady progress

The concerning fall in apprenticeship starts suggests that the government will need to make the new Apprenticeship Levy more user-friendly for businesses to get the welcome progress of recent years back on track, the Resolution Foundation said in response to the latest figures published today (Thursday) by the Department for Education.

Resolution Foundation analysis has found that the biggest falls in Apprenticeship starts in the final quarter of 2016/17 have taken place in Level 2 apprenticeships, for those aged 25+ and in retail, business and engineering.

Kathleen Henehan, Policy Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said:

“This is a concerning fall in the number of apprenticeship starts following years of progress.

“While it’s welcome that the fall has not been focused amongst key targets of young people taking higher level apprenticeships, establishing what can be done to maintain progress on apprenticeships is key.

“In particular, the fact that only 57 per cent of those firms paying the new apprenticeship levy have engaged with the new system shows scope for clear improvement.

“The levy represents a welcome move for our approach to training, but now more than ever it is important government works with business to make it more user-friendly so that it can provide the spur for the higher quality apprenticeships that our economy needs. The government should also ensure that small employers have better access to support in the new system, as they provide the majority of apprenticeships in Britain.”