The skills minister will be told by training providers today that they are ready to ‘sell’ the apprenticeship levy reforms enthusiastically to business after a survey revealed that many employers are still reluctant to take on apprentices.
An employer survey revealed that many employers still need to be persuaded about the advantages of taking on apprentices. Picture credit: PA Images
Training providers will tell the skills minister today that they are ready to ‘sell’ the apprenticeship levy reforms enthusiastically to business after an employer survey revealed that many employers still need to be persuaded about the advantages of taking on apprentices.
AELP CEO Mark Dawe said: “The apprenticeship reforms must work for businesses of all sizes. Independent training providers act as the salesforce for the programme and no one should kid themselves that this is going to change after the levy comes in. In fact they are out there selling now. We really want to get behind the reforms and therefore providers need to be confident that this week’s announcements will help them in talking to employers and increasing the number of apprenticeships.”
Independent training providers (ITPs) currently deliver 76 per cent of apprenticeships in England and so are critical to making the government’s flagship skills programme a success.
When the minister Nick Boles addresses the national conference of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) in London, he will be fed back a strongly held view that the reforms must work for both the large levy paying employers and non-levy paying SMEs. AELP believes that only with employers of all sizes engaged in the programme will apprenticeships be a game-changer for the government’s productivity agenda.
AELP has also emphasised that SMEs are needed to provide apprenticeship opportunities to young people in the big cities and in smaller towns or rural areas where the big name employers, featured in the government’s ‘Get in, Go Far’ marketing campaign, are not always present. Smaller businesses are currently responsible for over 50 per cent, or some 250,000, of annual apprenticeship starts.
The government is expected to announce shortly the latest details of its apprenticeship levy reforms including what level of financial support it will offer to keep the non-levy paying employers engaged.