Over three quarters of apprenticeships delivered by ITPs

Training providers are now delivering 75% of apprenticeships, according to the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP).

The figures reveal the importance of training providers in the apprenticeships ecosystem, and the extent to which outsourcing has now become accepted practice in higher education.

A closer look at the AELP analysis shows that overall, of the 499,900 apprenticeship starts in 2014-15, 76% were delivered via private training providers. And in terms of apprenticeship starts in college, 40% of those were subcontracted out to independent training providers (ITPs).

The issue of subcontracting is an especially delicate one, given the impending introduction of the apprentice levy next year. With that in mind, the AELP is lobbying to ensure that ensure that the funding allocation system recognises the contribution of ITPs  and rewards the providers that directly deliver apprenticeship starts.


‘A seat at the table’

AELP chief executive Mark Dawe said: “The new data should leave no one in doubt that it is independent training providers who have been driving the apprenticeship agenda. These are the providers who have had the relationships with employers and have been responsive to employers’ needs and the programme’s development.

“Therefore, if the government wants the apprenticeship reforms to work, the key constituency around the table needs to be the ITPs. Of course, the debate must involve employers, colleges and universities, but if you want to understand how to make an apprenticeship programme work and how to respond to employers’ and learners’ needs, then it is the providers with 79 per cent good or better Ofsted grades and really high employer and learner satisfaction ratings that government and employers should be working with.”