Today, Monday 8 October, the Education Select Committee published its report on the quality and effectiveness of apprenticeships and the training providers delivering them. 

Over the next two years, the National Apprenticeship Service is focusing on raising the value of apprenticeships undertaken in disadvantaged areas. As part of this we will work with local partners across some of the most deprived local authority areas.

We are also working with the Office for Students on developing and increasing the take up of degree apprenticeships through the Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund.

We are working with the Department for Transport to monitor the costs paid for transport by young people, as well as monitoring the wages paid to apprentices. As of 2016, the pay received by apprentices in England was £6.70 per hour on average at Level 2 and 3, and £9.83 per hour for higher levels.

I really welcome the Education Select Committee’s report published today. We all know that an apprenticeship can change the lives of people for the better with higher wages and better job prospects. It’s an opportunity that everyone should have.

It’s also a particular opportunity for those from more disadvantaged backgrounds who will feel those benefits even more. We have a range of measures in place to help young people from more disadvantage backgrounds to take up an apprenticeship with extra funding for providers as well as bursaries of £1,000 paid directly to apprentices who are leaving care.

It is essential that apprenticeship training is of high-quality. We have given Ofsted additional funding so it can hold the rising numbers of training providers to account.

Of those registered providers that have been inspected, 83 per cent were rated as good or outstanding. Any provider that falls short of the required standards will be removed from our register and stopped from taking on new apprentices until they have improved.

We will look at the report with interest as we want to make our apprenticeship system work even better. Last week the Chancellor announced changes to the apprenticeship levy in response to feedback from business. We will respond to the report in full in the near future.

Anne Milton, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister

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