Apprenticeship growth at risk if reforms happen, warns AELP

Training providers have warned that proposed government reforms are likely to lead to a decrease in apprenticeship opportunities for young people during the next Parliament.

The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) is calling instead for employers to be given a choice over how they wish to be funded for apprenticeships which would allow them, if desired, to continue outsourcing their training in the same way as they do now.

AELP recommends developing the current system of apprenticeship funding by giving more employers the choice of having either a direct government contract or accessing funding support through their chosen training provider.   This preserves Doug Richard’s principle of giving employers more ownership over the system.

AELP chief executive Stewart Segal said: “Our two main concerns are for the young entrants to the job market and the barriers to entry for smaller businesses.  The view of training providers and the employers they work with is that these funding proposals will damage the size and quality of the Apprenticeship programme.  We believe that moving instead to a system which is driven by employer choice will make a radical difference and continue to improve a very successful workforce development programme.”