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In England, Education Think Tank Issues Report That ‘Accuses’ Apprenticeship Levy Paid By Big Employers ‘Is Being Used On Low-Skilled Jobs Or Re-Labelling Existing Posts, Rather Than’ Training

Published Monday, January 6, 2020
by Sean Coughlan/BBC News Family and Education Correspondent
In England, Education Think Tank Issues Report That ‘Accuses’ Apprenticeship Levy Paid By Big Employers ‘Is Being Used On Low-Skilled Jobs Or Re-Labelling Existing Posts, Rather Than’ Training

Half of Apprenticeship courses in England have been accused of being "fake" by an Education Think Tank, EDSK, which says an Apprenticeship levy - paid by big employers - is being used on low-skilled jobs or re-labelling existing posts, rather than training.

Tom Richmond, the Think Tank's Director, said the Apprenticeship scheme was "descending into farce,” but a Department for Education spokeswoman defended Apprenticeships as becoming "better quality.”

The Apprenticeship Levy is paid by large employers, who contribute 0.5% of their salary bill into the Training Fund.  But since 2017, the report claims £1.2bn from the levy has been spent on jobs "offering minimal training and low wages" or on "rebadging" jobs already offered by employers as Apprenticeships.

In its first full year of operation, the levy raised £2.7bn and this is expected to rise to £3.4bn by 2023-24.

Apprenticeship spending is too often used on "existing adult Workers instead of supporting young people into the workplace,” the report warns.

The Education Think Tank says there is an insufficiently clear definition of what an Apprenticeship should offer, so much so that the "brand itself has arguably become a meaningless concept.”

It describes 50% of Apprenticeship courses since 2017 as "fake,” saying they do not "relate to helping young people get started in a skilled job or occupation.”

The Think Tank's analysis says that £235m of the levy has been used to support "low-skill" roles, such as Bar Staff, Shop Checkout Workers and those in "basic office administration".

A further £551m has been used by firms for management training, with the report claiming this was often used for experienced Staff rather than new recruits and could include the "rebadging" of existing schemes.

The most common Apprenticeship is becoming a supervisor or team leader, representing about a tenth of all Apprenticeships.

To Continue Reading This Labor News Story, Go To: www.bbc.com/news/education-50973579

And To Read The EDSK Education Think Tank Report, Go To: https://www.edsk.org/publications/runaway-training/

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