A year on from the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, official statistics show the number of people starting an apprenticeship has fallen by almost a quarter.
Figures published by the Department for Education reveal that from August 2017 to January 2018, the number of apprenticeship starts decreased by around 24% compared to the same time last year.
According to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the complexity of the system is hindering its effectiveness for businesses.
Jane Gratton, head of skills at the BCC, called the levy "unfit for purpose", and suggested the following reforms that could be made to the apprenticeship system:
- providing more support for SMEs accessing apprenticeship funding
- giving firms more time to source apprenticeship training
- allowing more levy funding to be passed down the supply chain.
"The aim of the apprenticeship levy is laudable, but its structure and implementation are obstacles to training the talent of tomorrow.
"The government needs to urgently engage with business and training providers to make it work for everyone."
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