Stability, transparency, flexibility and employer ownership: Employer recommendations for improving the apprenticeship system #fixapprenticeships

Today the Institute of Student Employers has launched an important new report addressing the future of the apprenticeship system.

The report is entitled Stability, transparency, flexibility and employer ownership: Employer recommendations for improving the apprenticeship system. It examines the apprenticeship system from the perspective of employers and asks how they would like to see the system and levy develop.

The report makes 10 recommendations to improve the current apprenticeship system.

  1. Ensure stability in the apprenticeship system: Any changes to the system should be limited, gradual and done with careful employer consultation.
  2. The levy should not be a payroll tax: Reaffirm the principle of ‘you get out more than you put in’, increase transparency in how the apprenticeship levy pot is managed and where the money comes from and recognise the fact that larger employers cannot be expected to pay for the whole system.
  3. Double the levy ‘expiry date’: The ‘expiry date’ on apprenticeship funds should be doubled to 48 months while the system becomes better established.
  4. Increase levy flexibility: Convene a working group of employers to review the flexibility of the funding arrangements and make recommendations to increase employer engagement with the system. A key consideration should be whether the range of costs that can be supported with the levy should be increased.
  5. Join-up the apprenticeship systems in different UK nations: Governments across the four nations should convene a working group comprising civil servants and employer representatives to explore ways of creating a more joined-up national system.
  6. Support higher and degree level apprenticeships: Government should reaffirm its commitment to higher and degree level apprenticeships and resist short-sighted calls to restrict access to these apprenticeships on the basis of prior qualifications.
  7. Review the way apprenticeship standards are created and developed: The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education should review the process of standard creation and development and seek to make it shorter, sharper and more flexible.
  8. Increase the flexibility in off the job training: Government should convene a working group to look at the way in which the 20% off the job requirements are managed.
  9. Celebrate how apprenticeships can transform careers for everyone: While there is important work to do to engage young people in apprenticeships, it is vital that they are understood as being applicable to a wider and more diverse group of workers that is representative of the population at large.
  10. Promote apprenticeships across the education system: Continue to invest in high quality career education and guidance in schools and ensure that schools and colleges promote vocational routes alongside the academic route.

We are raising the profile of the report and the campaign using the hashtag #fixapprenticeships. We hope that you’ll join us in campaigning and debating the future of the apprenticeship system.

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