Responding to the latest apprenticeship figures, showing a year on year drop in starts of 31% for the 2017/18 academic year to May, Edwin Morgan, Director of Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:
“Today’s apprenticeship statistics add further confirmation that the Government’s target to have three million apprenticeship starts by 2020 is sinking below the horizon. Apprenticeships have not regained momentum after the introduction of the Levy last year, with only around 316,000 starts between August 2017 and May 2018, over a hundred thousand down compared with the previous two academic years.
“These figures show that the levy system is still not delivering as it should for employers or apprentices. Meanwhile, a shortfall in approved standards for STEM subjects will hardly reassure companies in crucial high-skill sectors that need apprentices.
“Firms are not against the Levy in principle. Government has been talking to businesses about where the obstacles are in the system, but it’s now time for action to get the system back on track. When skills shortages are one the biggest issues facing the economy, there is no time to delay.”