Commenting on the CBI/Pearson annual employers skills survey, Association of Employment and Learning Providers chief executive Mark Dawe says:
“We strongly support CBI’s call for a sustainable plan to keep apprenticeships available for all ages and all levels and they need to be available to SMEs as well as the levy payers. If the new government agrees a plan with employers and providers, this will remove the fear of further restrictions on employers’ use of the funding.
“The survey confirms that the most common form of training is on the on the job (85% of employers) and when that is placed against AELP’s own findings that employers complain most about the barrier to apprenticeships being the 20% off-the-job training requirement in the programme, the argument for more flexibility under the levy needs to be taken far more seriously and this is promised in all the manifestos. This flexibility should be introduced through the apprenticeship standards ensuring that they have the correct blend of on and off the job training appropriate to level, sector and setting.”
Interestingly in the context of AELP’s representations over functional skills and their inequitable funding within an apprenticeship, page 25 of the survey says that now only 7% of employers prefer GCSEs and A levels. 45% value academic and vocational qualifications equally and 29% like a mix of them. Mark Dawe adds:
“We get constantly get told by the government and its traditionalist advisers that it is employers who want no tinkering with GCSEs as the default qualification for maths and English and yet CBI member employers have unequivocally shown in this survey that the argument is totally bogus and without foundation. Big name employers on the apprenticeship trailblazers have also continuously demonstrated their willingness to recognise functional skills as an acceptable alternative to GCSEs and it is about time that the teaching of them was fairly funded.”
Link to CBI/Pearson annual survey report: https://www.cbi.org.uk/articles/education-and-learning-for-the-modern-world/