Where's the apprentice cash going?

7th December 2018 at 00:05

The apprenticeship levy was hailed as a game-changer that would turbo-charge the training programme.

The reality hasn’t matched up to the hype. Monthly figures for apprenticeship starts are still way down from before the levy came in.

A question has emerged: how is apprenticeship funding actually being spent? The main growth area in recent years has been in higher-level apprenticeships – the number of learners starting these has been growing by around 10,000 apprentices a year since 2011-12.

So, is this really the best use of money? “We have seen examples where existing graduate schemes are in essence being rebadged as apprenticeships,” says Ofsted’s annual report, published this week. “This might meet the rules of the levy policy, but it falls well short of its spirit.”

And what does this skewing towards expensive, higher-level courses mean for the overall costs of the programme?

Figures presented last week by Robert Nitsch, the Institute for Apprenticeships’ chief operating officer, suggest that the £2.2 billion apprenticeships budget for 2018-19
is set to be overspent by £500 million – rising to £1.5 billion by 2020-21.

And on Tuesday, the IfA announced that it plans to review the funding bands for 30 more apprenticeship standards to ensure they provide “value for money”.

Expect funding levels for several of these apprenticeships to be cut ...

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now