Association of Employment and Learning Providers
Press release – Embargoed until Friday, 21 September 2018, 00.01hrs
Fair system must be created to allow employers of all sizes to access apprenticeship funding
Smaller employers will need a streamlined digital service to access government funding for apprenticeships when they join the Apprenticeship Service (AS) which is currently operating for large levy-paying employers only. Demand for apprenticeships from all employers within the programme’s budget will also have to be ‘managed’ with the introduction of a new employer contribution system.
After the disastrous falls in starts at lower levels and for young people over the past year, the apprenticeships of all 16-18 year olds should be fully funded by the government whatever the size of the employer or level of learning. Level 2 and level 3 programmes should be fully funded for all apprentices under the age of 25.
These key proposals have been submitted to ministers by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), which represents providers that train 3 out of every 4 apprentices in England, after the government announced that the transition of the smaller non-levy paying employers on to the Apprenticeship Service would be delayed by at least a year later than the originally planned date of April 2019.
The other main AELP proposals are:
AELP CEO Mark Dawe said:
‘There may be levy funds unspent now, but the demand for higher and degree level apprenticeships among levy paying employers points to the bulk of the levy soon being used up. This is why AELP is articulating solutions that should give both smaller and large employers a fair chance of gaining access to apprenticeship funding over the long term.
‘Equally important, our proposals seek to rebalance the current system which is starkly failing the government’s own social mobility agenda. Adopting them should restore the number of apprenticeship opportunities available to young people and at lower levels. Can you imagine the outcry if the number of university places suddenly dropped by 40% as a result of government reforms? This has actually happened with apprenticeships and it’s about time we saw a response from ministers.’
AELP has noted the recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee’s EEA migration report, published this week, on lower skilled workers which, if accepted, would place more demand on employers to develop home-grown talent – another reason for the need to take action now on level 2 and 3 apprenticeships.