The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) has backed London Assembly plans to improve the apprenticeship system, as outlined in a new report by their Economy Committee.

 

‘You’re Hired: A Bright Future for Apprenticeships in London’ has found that apprenticeship numbers in London have fallen since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy – particularly for younger people. One of the reasons for that fall is the complex nature of the apprenticeship system, which creates particular challenges for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The report calls on the Government to introduce more incentives for employers to encourage them to hire more apprentices who are under 19 and/or disabled. The committee also urge the Mayor of London to provide better support for SMEs who wish to take on apprentices.

AELP has a strong working relationship with the London Assembly and the Greater London Authority through AELP London, which is chaired by Nichola Hay MBE. Through this role, Nichola is also a member of the Skills for Londoners board. She was recently elected as Chair of AELP’s board.

AELP Director of Policy, Simon Ashworth recently attended the London Assembly Economy Committee meeting to outline how we believe the apprenticeship system could be improved. His evidence is quoted in the report and the Committee have accepted a number of recommendations made by AELP in the evidence gathering stage. These include more support for SMEs using the apprenticeship system, better employer incentives and helping apprentices with travel costs.

 

Nichola Hay MBE, Skills for Londoners board member and AELP Chair, said:

 

“Over 23,000 apprenticeships are delivered ever year by AELP members across the capital – so we’re delighted that the London Assembly Economy Committee have engaged positively with us. They have clearly taken our views on board, particularly over how we can make the apprenticeship system easier to navigate for SMEs. This is a high priority for AELP, as we know our SMEs need much more support to engage with apprenticeships. SMEs make up 98% of businesses nationally and they have a good track record of taking on younger apprentices, yet just 29% of apprenticeship starts last year were with SMEs. We hope the recommendations in the report will help strengthen apprenticeships in London, allowing even more people to benefit from these high-quality programmes.”

ENDS

 

The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) is a national membership body, proudly representing around 800 organisations. AELP members support thousands of businesses and millions of learners in England by delivering a wide range of training, vocational learning, and employability programmes.

For further information or for interviews please contact Matt Strong, Communications Manager, AELP, on 07920 161685 or [email protected]

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