Responding to the latest apprenticeship figures, showing a year on year drop in starts of 28% for the 2017/18 academic year to June, Jamie Kerr, Head of External Affairs at the Institute of Directors, said:
“Today’s stats underline that the levy system is still far from firing on all cylinders. The ambition of 3 million starts by 2020 remains the remotest of targets.
“We have welcomed the ramping up of Government engagement with business concerns, and recent steps to give firms more flexibility with the levy have been a step in the right direction. But the work must continue, and we look forward to further efforts to ensure the reality of the system matches the original ambition behind the levy.
“What employers want to see is a system more responsive to the needs of individual firms, particularly as skills shortages and the shifting labour market trends remain at the top of businesses’ lists of concerns.”