AELP: Chancellor’s pledge on apprenticeship growth will require extra funding
The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) was responding to the Chancellor’s commitment that a Conservative government would have one million more people participating on the programme during the next Parliament than the two million who will have been on it during the coalition government’s term of office
The news that the apprenticeship programme is to be expanded has been welcomed but government must make sure that changes to policy and funding reflect the views of employers.
That was according to The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), responding to the Chancellor’s commitment that a Conservative government would have one million more people participating on the programme during the next Parliament than the two million who will have been on it during the coalition government’s term of office.
The Conservative pledge follows Ed Miliband’s inclusion of a ‘massively expanded’ apprenticeships programme in his six-point plan for implementation by 2025.
AELP CEO Stewart Segal said: “Training providers will be pleased that all the political parties are committing the funds that will expand the apprenticeship programme. The Conservatives have announced that they want to increase the number of apprenticeship starts but that can only happen if they work with employers and training providers to build on the success of the current system.
“AELP has always said that the drive to engage more employers will mean that the budgets for Apprenticeships will have to be increased. We need a firm basis for that increase in investment and this has to be additional funds to the existing adult skills budgets.
“The proposals to fund the expansion through cuts in benefits for young people need to be carefully thought through. Getting those young people the right job with training must be the objective, so taking part in community projects must be part of a clear plan to get them the work they need. Training providers involved in Welfare to Work programmes need to be involved in developing those proposals.
“Much of the apprenticeship growth is likely to come from small businesses, so we need to ensure that the changes to policy and funding reflect the stated views of employers. Some of the current coalition government proposals will be a barrier to entry for many of those businesses, including direct funding and mandatory cash contributions.”
He added: “We look forward to working with any government to make these plans for growth a reality but that must be based on firm evidence and employer choice.”
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