It’s not just the Apprenticeship Levy that launches this week. Monday saw the successful first full working day of the Institute for Apprenticeships (ifA). Headed up by Antony Jenkins, former chief executive of Barclays bank, the Institute will have eight board members – including Dame Asha Khemka, principal and chief executive of West Nottinghamshire College Group, and Bev Robinson, principal of Blackpool and the Fylde College and director of the National College for Onshore Oil and Gas.
Heralding the launch, minister for apprenticeships and skills Robert Halfon said that he was “delighted” that the IfA was now up and running, and said he hoped it would help “people of all ages and all backgrounds get their foot on the ladder of opportunity”.
‘A foot on the ladder of opportunity’
Mr Halfon said: “I am delighted that today marks the first working day of the IfA. This is a key part of the jigsaw that will ensure employers get the skills their workforce needs.
“With the apprenticeship levy coming into force later this week, we are truly working together with business to invest in home-grown skills and ensuring people of all ages and all backgrounds get their foot on the ladder of opportunity.”
Meanwhile Antony Jenkins said: “The institute is now formally up and running. As an employer-led organisation we will be well informed and responsive to the evolving skills that they need to succeed and that our apprentices need to fulfil their potential.
“The institute launches ahead of the apprenticeship levy coming into force on Thursday (6 April). The levy will double the annual investment in apprenticeships to £2.5 billion by 2019 to 2020. This will ensure that every person, regardless of their background, gets the chance they deserve to succeed.”