Apprenticeship Funding Reforms: A step in the wrong direction?

Apprenticeship Funding Reforms: A Step In The Wrong Direction?

A view from a young person, Alex Knight a Youth Ambassador

Alex Knight Bio Pic

With youth unemployment at a five year low, with 868,000 young people unemployed, it appears that the government are trying to undo any progress they have made. Changes to the apprenticeship system are to be implemented in the coming months which could be seriously detrimental to young people’s chances of employment.

Let’s start with the current situation. In the UK, apprenticeships are mainly handled by training providers or colleges, who will work with an employer to find a suitable apprentice candidate. When they have found the candidate, the provider is then responsible for the administration and application for funding. Therefore, there isn’t too much of a burden either financially or bureaucratically for the employer.

This however, is all about to change, because the training provider will no longer have such a large role in proceedings, if any. Instead, the initial cost of putting an apprentice through a training programme will be borne completely by the employer. They then have to go through an online platform to recover the cost of the programme using a tax system.

Clearly, this is worrying, as small and medium sized businesses are going to be perturbed from taking on apprentices because they are unable to risk losing a substantial amount of money until they receive government funding. In turn, the cash flow issues that this could might seem to outweigh the benefits of having apprentices and so it is highly possible that the number of apprenticeship vacancies could fall drastically.

What the programme also forgets is that many small businesses don’t have the manpower to take the extra bureaucracy that applying for the tax rebate would take, as things like audits would become necessary, taking staff away from the everyday running of the business. The time that a firm would have to take to make sure they were finding quality training also has to be factored in, as the apprenticeship scheme would become a far bigger undertaking.

Put off yet?

You will be now.

If you’re a business, you already have enough organisations such as HM Revenue and Customs wanting to check how you are running things. But adding OFSTED to that list may be a step too far.

They would however, have to come and check the level of training under new guidelines, with the employer now responsible for the quality. Not only is it a further distraction that a company doesn’t need but it also has the potential to ruin their reputation as a business if the training isn’t rated to a high standard, again too much of a risk for many employers.

Thus, in my opinion, these new changes are very likely to lower the amount of apprenticeships on offer to young people. They will price small businesses out of the apprenticeship market and provide far too much extra work for many medium size firms. In turn, that leaves large employers, who actually only currently employ 10% of all apprentices. Therefore, 90% are left unaccounted for and without a clear role for training providers, who have been responsible for 80% of the programmes and an increase in their popularity, apprenticeships at a serious risk of decline.

 

 

Are You Aged 14-24?
Get FREE Young Professional Training
Are You An Employer?
Get youth employment expert help

For more information, please email info@youthemployment.org.uk or call 01536 513388.

Looking for Youth Friendly Employers?

Find out more about some of the organisations offering high quality training and work opportunities to young people. Your next dream role could be just a click away…

Latest Articles

See more

How To Find A Job You Love In 6 Steps

Finding a job you love is easier if you think about what you enjoy and what’s important to  you. You […]

Jobseeker’s Guide To Finding A Job… And Career

Finding a job is hard. It requires patience and persistence. This is especially true if you are fairly new to […]

Working In Communal Area

Jobseeker’s Guide to Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship is a training scheme where you get paid to learn on the job and build up experience and […]

New approaches for research into serious violence against young people

In an attempt to understand why there is an increase in serious violence against young people UK Youth have partnered […]