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Apprentices: Public Sector

Question for Department for Education

UIN 145050, tabled on 28 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of public sector organisations have met the public sector apprentice target in each year since the target was introduced.

Answered on

4 February 2021

Public sector bodies with 250 or more staff in England have a target to employ an average of at least 2.3% of their staff as new apprentice starts over the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2021. While the target period is divided into 4 reporting periods lasting a year each, the regulations state that the target will be measured as an average over the full 4-year target period. As such, we cannot determine which organisations have or have not met the target until the final returns for the 2020-21 reporting period have been made later this year.

The latest public sector apprenticeship statistics cover the first 3 years of the target. The target-monitoring data returns that have been submitted so far by individual organisations are published via the following link:

This data shows that, of the 865 public sector organisations that submitted returns in the latest 2019-20 reporting period (and have been included in national aggregates), 99 (11.4%) had employed, on average, at least 2.3% of staff as new apprenticeship starts over the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2020.

The percentage above has been calculated based only on those organisations that made a return in the latest reporting period (2019-20).

The average percentage of staff employed as new apprenticeship starts in each organisation is calculated across all the returns made by that organisation over the target period. Those that have not submitted in each of the 3 years have an average based just on the returns that have been made.

Not all public sector organisations are in the scope of the target (for instance, those with headcounts of fewer than 250 employees are exempt).

Additionally, in their returns, public bodies provide self-reported information on the employment period and headcount relating to the target. The onus is on individual bodies to be accountable for their programme and to publish this information independently as well as report progress to the department. The underlying data for the associated statistical releases exactly replicates the information supplied by public sector bodies. As such, the accuracy of these submissions cannot be completely verified in all aspects.