The Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy has launched an inquiry into apprenticeships following the Government announcement last year regarding their commitment to reach 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.
The inquiry has been launched to evaluate how Ministers are planning to achieve this target and the impact that it could have on the standards of the candidates and opportunities available. Ministers will be required to show how they are going to ensure the quality of apprenticeships and develop minimum standards to be achieved so that they will benefit the employer. It is important that the focus is not solely the quantity of apprentices but they also need to be of benefit to an employer by being job-ready with professional, relevant and up-to-date skills to help those in the sectors that are seeing the biggest skills gap.
The ramifications of the apprenticeship levy for businesses will also be under review. The levy, announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015, will see employers with a company payroll of more than £3million pay a 0.5% tax from April 2017. 2% of UK employers will fall into this category and it’s estimated that this could raise £3billion annually by 2020, which will go towards investing in apprentices.
The practical side of apprenticeships will also be analysed, including the way that young people are made aware of opportunities and the benefit of following a career path with an apprenticeship, as well as the process for applying and progression paths to higher qualifications. It is likely that Ministers will be encouraged to look overseas to learn from other countries where apprenticeships are a success.
Written submissions addressing any of these topics can be made by midday on Friday 18th March.
If you’re an employer looking to find out more about the benefits and process of hiring an apprentice, you can visit the Employers section of our website here, call the Aspire Training Team on 01202 551553 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.