AXA UK celebrates National Apprenticeship Week with multiple vacancies

AXA UK celebrates National Apprenticeship Week with multiple vacancies”

The Department for Education has some way to go before it can demonstrate that the apprenticeships programme is achieving value for money, with numbers of apprenticeships below pre-reform levels, says the National Audit Office.

Meg Hillier, chair of the the Public Accounts Committee, said: "While the government has reformed its apprenticeships programme increasing the focus on quality, it is concerning that employers used so little of the money available for new apprenticeships a year ago and that the ESFA can't be sure that apprentices are spending enough time on off-the-job training".

The Horwich based apprenticeship provider now trains around 600 apprentices and is one of the largest independent apprenticeship training providers in the North West.

The government radically changed the apprenticeship system two year ago, introducing the apprenticeship levy for large employers, which they can then claim back to fund training.

The NAO said the government was very unlikely to hit its 2020 target of 3m new starts, as reported by the BBC.

Compounding this problem is the fact that developing new standards has been slow - the NAO had previously pointed out that they were taking around a year to develop, meaning many employers were forced to slot staff onto the older, framework-based system.

Small businesses are getting a much-needed helping hand to boost apprenticeship opportunities across the city-region, Greater Manchester leaders have announced.

The number of apprenticeships starts dropped 26% between 2015/16 and 2017/18, with 375,800 new apprentices in 2017/18. This suggests companies may be abandoning apprenticeships aimed mainly at school leavers with weaker exam results.

All apprentices will receive training at an Arnold Clark site, and some will also attend a number of week-long visits at one of the Group's GTG training centres.

"Despite making changes to the apprenticeships programme, the department has not enticed employers to use available funds or encouraged enough potential recruits to start an apprenticeship. If the department is serious about boosting the country's productivity, it needs to set out clearly whether its efforts are on track to meet that aim", he added.

Matthew Fell, CBI chief United Kingdom policy director, said: 'Today's report confirms what employers already know - that the Apprenticeship Levy is not yet working as intended and is holding back the government's welcome efforts to modernise the skills system.

BB Training, which delivers apprenticeships, CPD courses and accredited qualifications to the early years, adult social care and clinical care sectors, has launched the "Become 1 in 300" initiative as part of National Apprenticeship Week this week (4-8 March 2019).

In response to the report, apprenticeships and skills minister Anne Milton MP said the apprenticeships levy offered "a range of opportunities to gain skills in the workplace", and ensured long-term investment in apprenticeships.

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