Last month’s announcement that the Education and Skills Funding Agency is cutting apprenticeship provision funding allocations for non-levy paying employers was unsurprisingly met with widespread dismay within the industry. Many worried about redundancies caused by inevitable provider closures, whilst others raised the risk posed to the Government target of 3 million new apprenticeship starts by 2020. But what about the risk posed to employers - 98% of whom do not pay the Apprenticeship Levy - and more importantly, to apprentices themselves? The introduction of these funding cuts will undoubtedly affect the quality of the UK’s apprenticeship provision. It’s one thing having an aspirational target figure, but quite another if said apprenticeships are of sub-standard quality.
Dame Louise Ellman MP visited The City of Liverpool College’s Duke Street Centre to meet Alan Woods OBE, Chief Executive of the Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT), Elaine Bowker, Principal at the College, and the team that deliver VTCT’s technical qualifications and apprenticeships to learners in Riverside.