Responding to latest official apprenticeship statistics, showing that apprenticeship starts were down 25% for the seven months to February 2018, compared with the same period 12 months earlier, Seamus Nevin, Head of Policy Research at the Institute of Directors, said:
“Today’s figures yet again show that the system is not working as intended. How much more evidence does the Government need before it takes action? While the motivation behind the policy is laudable, the execution is flawed.
“On top of the decrease in apprenticeship starts, around 40% have so far been below the standard internationally recognised as the minimum quality to be an apprenticeship. This isn’t helping to meaningfully boost the skills of British workers.
“If we want to boost skills, productivity and wages in our economy then the system must be reformed. Businesses should be afforded the flexibility to invest in more tailored courses. Firms need longer to spend the money so they can use it on the apprenticeships of greatest value. Larger companies could also be allowed to transmit more of the funds down their supply chain to where it is most needed.”