“The Government needs to act fast and work with councils if they are to boost the number of apprenticeships and drive local economic growth."
Responding to Education Secretary Damian Hinds’ announcement that the Government’s target of three million apprenticeship starts in England by 2020 is going to be missed, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chairman of the People and Places Board, said:
“Since the overhaul of the apprenticeship system in 2017, the LGA has continued to call for further apprenticeship reform. Two years on, councils who want to use their Apprenticeship Levy funds to boost vital skills and professions are being held back where apprenticeship standards are still in development, such as in adult care, early years, and building control.
“The Government needs to act fast and work with councils if they are to boost the number of apprenticeships and drive local economic growth.
“Councils believe much more could be done to boost apprenticeships if employers had the powers to collaborate more easily, working with local partners and transferring and pooling their levy funds, to address local skills gaps, get people back into work and widen participation to the most disadvantaged in their community.
“Good apprenticeships provide people with the skills and experience to help them get into work or progress in their careers – which is why councils and employers across the country support the Government’s commitment to create more apprenticeships as skills development is so vital for individuals, employers and the national and local economy.”
Notes for editors
- LGA Chairman, Lord Porter, wrote to the Education Secretary in April 2019 to call for further apprenticeship reform. From May 2019 employers, including councils, are at risk of losing unspent Levy funds.
#CouncilsCan: Spending Review 2019
With the right funding and powers, councils can continue to lead local areas, improve residents’ lives, reduce demand for public services and save money for the taxpayer. Securing the financial sustainability of local services must be the top priority for the Spending Review.