Government statement fails to quell apprenticeship funding concerns

Last week the government published a two-page Q&A document which aimed to address some of the issues raised about the apprenticeship funding reform.

Ministers want to put apprenticeship funding in the hands of employers and have consulted on two ways of doing it; either through the pay-as-you-earn system or through a new system of credits.

It confirms that the payment system will work for small businesses and will be fully tested before launch. Employers will not have to meet the full cost of training up front but can “draw down” government funding.

However, Stewart Segal, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) said concerns still remain. He said: It does not yet address the main issue of moving to a funding system that will really engage employers by allowing them the choice of direct funding as an employer/provider or working with a provider of their choice who would draw down the funding. It also does not address the concerns expressed by many employers and employer representative groups who do not support mandatory cash contributions.”