Why is Apprenticeship uptake dropping?
The government has recently announced figures for the number of Apprenticeships starts. Between August 2017 – January 2018 there has been a 24% decrease in starts over the same point the previous year.
This has coincided with the introduction of the Apprenticeship levy, but is this the reason?
The levy was brought in to improve the countries skills by increasing the number of apprenticeships to 3 million by 2020.
Lots of Changes
Along with the levy there has also been other changes to Apprenticeships, these include the new apprenticeships standards, the launch of the Institute of Apprenticeships and digital accounts to pay for apprenticeships.
According to the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) many companies are finding the new apprenticeship system complex. For levy payers they claim it feels like a tax and is preventing them from spending training money in the way they want. Small to medium sized businesses are facing paying 10% of the cost of an apprenticeship and are unsure how and where to access quality training providers.
Businesses need skills
The BBC also states that most sectors and regions of the UK are facing skills shortages and their research shows recruitment difficulties at a near record high. They think that the levy’s structure and implementation is an obstacle to future talent. They have called for a reform to the system followed by a period of stability to allow businesses certainty, so that they can invest and engage in long term training plans.
Although there has been a drop in the overall apprenticeship numbers, there has been an increase in the number of higher level apprenticeships, such as engineering and law and uptake of the new apprenticeship standards according to the Department of Education.
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