It’s time for an Apprentice Premium

14 October 2016

Learning and Work Institute is today calling for affordable and achievable safeguards which would ensure high quality and accessible apprenticeships.

Mirroring the Pupil Premium in schools, Learning and Work is today proposing an Apprentice Premium to ensure that additional funding supports high quality training for disadvantaged young people. We also call for full funding for young people who choose an apprenticeship, in the same way that students choosing an academic or vocational pathway would receive.

Three million people will have started an apprenticeship by 2020 if the Government achieves its target. To reach that number, the way that apprenticeships are funded is changing dramatically, with a new tax on large employers to fund apprenticeships, the Apprenticeship Levy, coming in April 2017.

Concerns have been raised by employers and education representatives that the focus on volume risks poor quality apprenticeships. This could include drawing down Government funding for poor, inconsequential training; certifying existing skills rather than gaining new ones; and apprenticeships which fail to engage people who would benefit the most.

Stephen Evans, Learning and Work Institute’s Chief Executive, said,

“The Apprenticeship Levy has been recognised universally as a ‘game-changer’ but we believe that more needs to be done to make sure that investment in apprenticeships delivers the very best experience for apprentices and value for money for employers and tax payers.  

“We’ve set out today how the funding system can best promote and incentivise high quality. We think it’s wrong that an apprentice’s experience can be negotiated on price, rather than quality, so we’ve set out today how the Government can change that.

“Growth in apprenticeships marks an exciting turning point in our education system and the choices available to young people and adults in accessing training. That’s why it’s so important we get this right.“

Read our new paper, ‘Three million careers, Making the Apprenticeship Levy work’