Disappointing apprenticeship start data no surprise to business
The CBI has responded to apprenticeship start data for England between May and July 2017.
Neil Carberry, CBI Managing Director for People policy, said:
“This disappointing data will come as no surprise to companies, who have repeatedly made clear that the current design of the apprenticeship levy system is not effective. Businesses believe in apprenticeships but there can be no argument now - reform of the levy system is needed urgently to ensure its success.
“Firms are still having to adjust to the new system against difficult timescales, but the challenges of the levy run deeper than just a timing issue. That’s why the CBI has consistently said that for the levy to really meet business and learner needs, more flexibility is vital so firms can deliver high-quality training.
“There is still time to get the levy right but this needs real urgency. The Government must invest now in the Department for Education’s commercial skills, work with firms to build a better understanding of how businesses will react to policies, and empower the Institute for Apprenticeships to challenge underperforming aspects of system design. In the long-term, the right choice is to evolve the system into a flexible skills levy.
“The CBI will continue working with the Government to deliver an apprenticeship system that meets the skills needs of companies and opens up careers for young people.”