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by Graham Black  |  Wed 06 Feb 2019

Plummeting Apprenticeships

According to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), new apprenticeship starts are falling because the Apprenticeship Levy needs to be made more flexible. Statistics recently published by the Department for Education show that there has been a 24% fall in apprenticeship starts for the 2017/18 academic year compared with the previous academic year.

Brain Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said, “At the recent Conservative Party Conference, the Government announced much-needed reforms to the Apprenticeship Levy, but these do not go far enough. From April 2019, large firms will be allowed to pass 25 per cent of Levy vouchers down through the supply chain to smaller firms, but the FMB is calling for this to be increased to 100 per cent. This is an important change because in construction it’s the smaller firms that train more than two thirds of all apprentices. Conversely, large firms don’t tend to directly employ or train trades people. If the Government is serious about creating three million quality apprenticeships by 2020, it must ensure the Apprenticeship Levy works for the construction industry.”

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