Kate Green: Levy not delivering for young people

Labour shadow education secretary says her party is 'disappointed' in the drop in the numbers taking up apprenticeships
5th November 2020, 6:23pm

Share

Kate Green: Levy not delivering for young people

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/kate-green-levy-not-delivering-young-people
Labour's Kate Green: The Government Has Shown An 'unforgivable' Lack Of Support For Students Sitting January Exams, Like Btecs

The apprenticeship levy has not delivered for young people, Labour's shadow education secretary has said.

Speaking at today's Federation of Awarding Bodies' online event on the future of apprenticeships, Kate Green said that following the Labour Party's support for the apprenticeship system while in power, her party had been "disappointed to see" the drop in the number of people taking up an apprenticeship - especially among young people. 

She said that, amid the Covid crisis, she was concerned about apprentices being made redundant, even if their number was small. "But what we really want to see is a great opportunity system that we can get behind with government," she added. 


IfATE: How we will provide stability for apprenticeships

Background: MPs say apprenticeships must get 'substantial investment'

More: What the chancellor's plans mean for FE and skills


She said that, looking at countries like Germany where there is "a really successful career path", that was what the UK "has got to be aspirational for".

Ms Green said there were four things she wanted to see that would boost the apprenticeship system: firstly, she said we needed to make sure there was a "good progression pipeline into apprenticeships", and that requires schools, colleges and providers to work together. 

Secondly, the apprenticeship levy needed to "work much harder" to ensure that young people get those opportunities and that employers are incentivised to use their money to bring young people into the workplace.

Apprenticeship levy 'not a failed experiment'

Progression paths had to be made "really clear" to people, she stressed, and, finally, while the government was right to bring in emergency initiatives to support young people at risk of unemployment, it was important to clarify how programmes like Kickstart would fit in with apprenticeships and traineeships. 

Speaking at the same conference earlier today, apprenticeships and skills minister Gillian Keegan said she did not agree that the apprenticeship levy, introduced in 2017, had been a "failed experiment". She said this was also not a view that was shared by the thousands of apprentices that had started their journey in that time. 

This afternoon, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education announced it will extend apprenticeship flexibilities aimed at protecting the programme during the coronavirus pandemic until at least the end of March.

The institute said this would provide much-needed stability as England entered into a second national lockdown from today, allowing for the completion of apprenticeships. 

Chief executive Jennifer Coupland said: "The institute is determined to do everything we can to support, inform and reassure the sector through these uncertain and highly challenging times. The flexibilities have done a fantastic job with helping apprentices complete their apprenticeships while still upholding quality and this will now continue until at least the end of March."

 

 

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Register for free to read more

You can read two more articles on Tes for free this month if you register using the button below.

Alternatively, you can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters

Already registered? Log in

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Subscribe to read more

You can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters