Apprenticeships: Training & Coaching

(c) monkeybusinessimages / Thinkstock

(c) monkeybusinessimages / Thinkstock - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Government is focused on driving up the number of apprentices working in companies in England to boost the economy. A year on from the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, we look at the stats

The Government wants to create 3m apprenticeships in Britain by the end of 2020. To that end, it introduced its Apprenticeship Levy in April last year, which is expected to raise £2.8bn for the Treasury by the end of 2019/20.

It requires employers with a turnover in excess of £3m to make a 0.5% contribution towards apprenticeships and employee training.

In return, they have a £15,000 Levy Allowance to offset every year against training from approved providers.

And this year, for the first time, non-Levy paying employers will start to use the Digital Apprenticeship Service, making a 10% contribution while the Government pays the rest.

The latest Commons briefing paper, published in January, recorded a significant drop in the number of apprenticeship starts in the first quarter of 2017/18, compared with the same period the year before.

This time, there were 114,400 starts in England – 49,800 fewer than in the same period in 2016.

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“The number of starts in 2017/18 was around 30% lower than the average of the first quarter of the previous three academic years,” the report read.

“As to be expected, the number of apprenticeships started was higher than in the last quarter of 2016/17, where there was a large drop in starts following the introduction of the new apprenticeship funding system.”

Of the apprenticeships started in the first quarter, 41% were under-19s - the higher proportion down to young school leavers moving on to apprenticeships directly after leaving school - 30% were 19-24 and 29% were over-25s.

Fresh Department for Education figures show that, as of November last year, 12,200 Apprenticeship Service Accounts had been registered and 93,100 commitments – apprentices registered to start training - entered into.

Of these, 39,000 were for apprentices aged 25 and over, 38,800 were intermediate apprenticeships and 40,600 were advanced apprenticeships.

Health, public services and care; business, administration and law; retail and commercial enterprise, and engineering and manufacturing technologies were the most active sectors.

In Oxfordshire, there are around 300 types of apprenticeships covering more than 1,500 job roles.

“An apprenticeship is a sound choice for many young people,” said a spokesman for Oxfordshire Apprentices.

“It’s a common misconception that apprenticeships are for people who didn’t do as well as they’d hoped in their exams.

“The introduction of degree apprenticeships is dispelling this myth and means that young people can now gain both an apprenticeship and a degree, with the tuition costs being shared between the employer and Government.”

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