Spending on apprenticeships is set to be under review by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC); the main watchdog of public spending in England and Wales. Apprenticeships will form a section of their programme for their Autumn session, along with other areas including financial sustainability of local government, HMRC performance and UKTI contracts.
The announcement comes at a time of increasing change for apprenticeships. In the last month we have seen many changes in the education sector with a new Secretary for Education, Justine Greening, and new Skills Minister, Robert Halfon, being appointed. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is set to be merged into the Department for Education, and the recently launched Post-16 Skills Plan is set to place vocational and academic training on a level playing field. With these recent changes the Apprentice Levy has been called into question with many employers calling for the launch to be delayed from April 2017.
The PAC has reviewed apprenticeships in the past; in January 2015 they published a report which highlighted that school leavers “fall off the radar” once they finish school, also evaluating the quality of careers advice that students get, and in most cases finding it to be inadequate in giving unbiased advice for all different career routes.
They are also not the only governing body to be scrutinising apprenticeships currently; the National Audit Office is undertaking a survey regarding the management of apprenticeships, namely to confirm that they are delivering the high quality skills training they should be in order to meet the needs of employers, learners and the wider community. The parliamentary Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy also launched an inquiry in February this year to explore ways that the government will achieve their target to create three million apprentices by 2020. Both reports are yet to publish their findings.
For more information on apprenticeships you can contact Dorset based apprenticeship provider Aspire Training Team. We specialise in childcare, business administration and health & social care apprenticeships, as well as providing Team Leading and Management courses. You can contact the team on 01202 551553 or email email@example.com.