APPG on apprenticeships - annual report

Year of Publication: 

This is the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Apprenticeships’ annual report for 2019-20. The Group has developed a series of policy recommendations they believe would increase uptake and improve the delivery of apprenticeships, while also helping to support the UK economy as it recovers.

The APPG on Apprenticeships believes the Government should take a number of steps in both the short term and long-term to support and accelerate the growth of quality apprenticeships in the UK: 

  • A cross-departmental apprenticeship strategy must be developed between Government and industry to respond to COVID-19. 
  • The Government should set up an apprenticeship working group with employers, training providers, professional bodies and associations as well as unions to develop innovative ways to retain apprentices and ensure the continuing talent pipeline.
  • Training providers should work to ensure that learning materials are accessible through as many online platforms as possible including mobile phones and games consoles.
  • The Government must take additional steps to support flexible approaches to learning and working for apprentices that have been developed through lockdown, examples could include reforming how End Point Assessments are implemented.
  • The Government must implement further proposals to ensure that young people are not exploited in the labour market by assessing the long-term employment progression opportunities for apprentices.
  • The Government should provide apprentices with free travel by 2021. 
  • Government must reform the Apprenticeship Levy to create greater flexibility, through allowing a proportion of Levy funding to be spent on ‘off the job’ costs and pre-apprenticeship programs to encourage disadvantaged groups into apprenticeships.
  • The Government must ensure that Apprenticeship Levy is sustainable in the long-term and gives employers and providers the stability they need to invest in apprenticeships. 
  • The Department for Education should collect and publish comprehensive data on the provision of careers advice in schools, in order to identify areas of best practice or targets for improvement.
  • The Department for Education must work in collaboration with schools to establish knowledge and awareness programmes targeted at parents, carers as well as students and staff to encourage the promotion of apprenticeships for school leavers.
  • The Department for Education should create a centre of excellence to encourage best practice amongst trainers.
  • The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education should simplify standards to support the learning of essential skills rather than focusing on specific occupations. 
  • The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education should simplify and centralise apprenticeship applications, through the creation of a single UCAS like system that will support school children in understanding the benefits of apprenticeships. 
  • The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education and Ofsted should undertake stronger enforcement of the rules and regulations surrounding apprenticeships to prevent exploitation, unfair pay, and poor-quality training. 
  • Businesses should be encouraged to include requirements for technical or vocational qualifications that equate to the degree levels for management positions where appropriate. 
  • The Treasury should pause the expiry of Apprenticeship Levy funds for at least six months, to support businesses through the pandemic.