Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chairman of the LGA's People and Places Board, responds to the Public Accounts Committee’s report on apprenticeships.
Responding to the Public Accounts Committee’s report on apprenticeships, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s People and Places Board, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, said:
“The Committee is right to raise concerns about the Government’s current Apprenticeship Levy policy. Councils have warned the current system is hampering local efforts to boost apprenticeships and are calling for greater flexibility in order to deliver good-quality apprenticeships.
“Considerable barriers are restricting employers from spending their Levy funds. Apprenticeships standards, against which the Levy must be spent, have been delayed or are yet to be approved, including in adult care, early years and building control.
“The Government needs to pause plans to begin clawing back unspent Levy funding this month as a result. This will only serve to hold employers and the workforce back and risks exacerbating the nation’s skills crisis.
“Good apprenticeships provide people with the skills and experience to help them get into work or progress in their careers, which is why employers support the Government’s commitment to create more apprenticeships. Councils are committed to making a success of the apprenticeship programme and want to work with the Government and partners to improve the number of good-quality apprenticeships.”
Notes to editors
- To mark the two year anniversary since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, two dozen signatories wrote to the Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, calling for an extension the apprenticeship levy and a suite of reforms to support employers deliver good-quality apprenticeships - www.local.gov.uk/open-letter-apprenticeship-levy
- In July 2017, the LGA launched Work Local – an ambitious but practical vision for devolved and integrated employment and skills provision.
- The LGA also put together a series of Skills Taskforce roundtables designed to bring together industry experts and sector representatives with an interest in making our skills and employment system as effective as possible.
- The LGA’s #CouncilsCan campaign aims to influence the forthcoming Spending Review and highlight the growing risk to vital local services if the Government does not take action to secure the financial sustainability of councils. Visit our campaign page for more information - www.local.gov.uk/spending-review-2019.