Latest provisional monthly figures from the Department for Education show that there were 27,000 apprenticeship starts last November, 40 percent fewer than in the same month in 2016. This continues the pattern of significant fall for each of the last 6 months since May. This leaves the Government’s 3 million starts target by 2020 18% below the required trajectory or 283,100 starts in volume terms.
During a recent FE Week interview skills minister Anne Milton revealed she expected to see a surge in apprenticeship starts by September. Responding to the latest figures today, Ms Milton said employers had seen “a period of significant change” over the last year and the DfE would continue to “work with them to adjust and respond.”
Mark Dawe, AELP CEO commented “Here is hard evidence rather than anecdote and we don’t want to hear any more excuses. These latest figures seem to confirm that the government is currently way short of hitting its manifesto target …but the real concern is the impact on social mobility as we see fewer starts for young people and at levels two and three. How many more months’ data do we need before the government starts taking action? AELP is calling for no more employer contributions towards apprenticeships for 16 to 24 year olds at non-levy paying employers, or at employers that have exceeded their levy.”
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