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Question for Department for Education

UIN 165131, tabled on 17 July 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what remedial steps the Government plans to take to tackle the declining uptake of apprenticeships since May 2017.

Answered on

23 July 2018

There have been 338,400 apprenticeship starts since May 2017 of which 132,900 were on new apprenticeship standards. The fall in starts has been greatest in Level 2 while we have seen the numbers of starts on higher level standards (Level 4 and above) rise by 12.5 per cent so far this year.

Starts on new better quality apprenticeships standards have increased rapidly. Over 40 per cent of individuals completing an apprenticeship are now starting on standards, compared to just 2.5 per cent this time last year. Higher quality training leads to increased productivity, at every level.

The department is working with employers to make sure that they can take advantage of apprenticeships. We have already extended the amount of time employers have to spend their levy (from 18 to 24 months), and have introduced transfers, to allow employers to transfer up to 10 per cent of their annual value of levy funds to other employers and recently announced that the cap on the number of employers to whom transfers can be made has been lifted.

The Institute for Apprenticeships has introduced its Faster and Better campaign to speed up and simplify the approval of standards development: 50 standards have been approved in the last three months (April-June 2018). Over 300 standards are already approved, in all sectors of the economy - with more on the way. We have run extensive communications campaigns since the reforms were introduced and will be commencing the latest phase of our ‘Get in Go Far’ marketing campaign shortly.

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