AELP responds to apprenticeship funding proposal

The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) has welcomed the opportunity to consult its members and their employer customers on the future of apprenticeship funding.

As we reported last week, the government has put forward a number of options including the proposal to use HMRC’s PAYE system to fund employers’ apprenticeship programmes.   AELP thinks that this will come with as many potential downsides as it will with benefits, and is particularly concerned that the quality of apprenticeships will suffer.

AELP chief executive Stewart Segal said: “We should be considering a total review of the future of apprenticeships, which is after all what Doug Richard advocated, rather than deal with the funding options separately.  AELP supports the view that funding should be more responsive to the needs of employers.

“We have considerable doubts over whether the PAYE proposal would actually bring more employers into the apprenticeship programme.  In fact, it might put smaller businesses off.   The co-funding option might have merit if it properly recognises the contributions which employers make towards an apprentice’s framework achievement.

“AELP will be pressing ahead with its own consultation of employers and research to try and ensure that the way forward is properly evidence-based.  If we want to build on the major growth in apprenticeships over the last ten years, then it is vital that we get this reform right.”