Public Accounts Committee to look into apprenticeships

Education and training providers will be tuning into the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) autumn hearings as it consider apprenticeships. The committee, the main watchdog of public spending in England and Wales, has announced its new programme of work for the autumn session, and apprenticeships is included alongside areas such as the financial sustainability of local government; Spending, performance and departmental plans; HMRC performance and tax transparency; and UKTI and the contract with PA Consulting.

The announcement comes at an important moment for apprenticeships – the recent publication of the report into the provision of vocational education looks set to revolutionise the pathways for school leavers, while the Skills ministry has a new head in Robert Halfon.

This won’t be the first time the PAC has looked into the delivery and efficiency of apprenticeships. In 2015 it issued a report into school leavers and how they are served by the current educational system.

As part of that enquiry, a Department for Education spokesman said: “Ensuring young people leave school or college prepared for life in modern Britain is a key part of our plan for education. That is why we are doing more to enable young people to access high quality advice and opportunities that will enable them to make informed decisions, in particular through the creation of the new careers and enterprise company. The new company will encourage greater collaboration between employers and schools, helping them access a wealth of experience to inspire young people across the country about the possibilities of the world of work.”