The APPG on Apprenticeships have today, Wednesday 21 July, published its report, calling on the Government to ensure that high-quality apprenticeships are accessible for all.
Findings from the report reveal that apprenticeships have the potential to drive the UK’s recovery from the pandemic, but they are currently being underused. To maximise their impact, the Government’s initiatives must be underpinned by sustainable funding, joined-up policies across Government Departments, and meaningful incentives to support individuals and businesses.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Apprenticeships’ annual report, sets out 10 recommendations to avoid mass unemployment and deliver job creation at this pivotal moment for our economy, these include:
- The APPG reiterates its recommendations for IfATE to ensure continued flexibility at all stages of the apprenticeship process, most notably including end point assessments and using online provision.
- The Government should increase the flexibility of what the Apprenticeship Levy can be used for and when. The Levy should sufficiently allow businesses to transfer or pool their resources to improve provision of apprenticeships.
- Businesses and providers must invest in a suitable virtual learning environment, suitable office workspaces and staff training to ensure apprenticeship provision is of the highest quality both online and offline.
- The Department for Work and Pensions should extend Kickstart schemes into 2022 and the Department for Education should provide bespoke guidance to providers and employers on how T-levels, Kickstart and apprenticeships can provide benefits and complement one another.
- HM Treasury should raise Apprentices’ Minimum Wage to be in line with the National Minimum Wage to ensure parity of esteem.
Co-Chair of the APPG, Jack Lopresti MP said:
“I am proud to present the APPG on Apprenticeships’ annual report, which highlights some fantastic examples of how apprenticeships can upskill, reskill and diversify workforces. As we recover from the pandemic, the Government must ensure that flexibility and quality of apprenticeships remains a core part of its strategy. “
Co-Chair of the APPG, Emma Hardy MP said:
“We need substantial and sustained investment in the wider skills agenda, to ensure that businesses feel certain they will be supported to invest in their workforce. We call on the Government to invoke a fundamental change in perceptions towards apprenticeships that encourages greater appreciation of the value of the apprentice and views them as an essential part of the workforce.”