“Today’s Apprenticeship Levy figures track the new starts since the initiative was introduced in May 2017. There is no doubt that the figures are lower than hoped but it is important to note it only measures starts, rather than completion.
The data doesn’t consider the changing face of apprenticeships, or account for the businesses that use the Levy funding to support upskilling or training of existing employees. Month-on-month, SME uptake is increasing using unused levy funds and these figures aren’t officially tracked.
The Levy is much-maligned but I encourage businesses and decision-makers to consider the Levy’s manifold benefits – whether they’re a Levy payer or an SME. There is a pot of money out there to support training, skills and on-the-job learning for apprentices and workers alike.
I have conversations day in, day out, that show me that businesses of all sizes are interested in the funding and its possibilities. For MiddletonMurray, the strategy to continue focus on both SMEs and Levy payers was the right one.
There are still some teething problems, but my main concern is an education around how it can help businesses, young people and the UK economy.”
DfE (Department for Education) published their statistics today (14th June) – There have been 261,200 apprenticeship starts reported to date between August 2017 and March 2018 for the 2017/18 academic year. This compares to 362,400 and 346,300 starts reported in the equivalent period in 2016/17 and 2015/16 respectively. This is a drop of 27.92% from last year’s figures. Find out more on the latest apprenticeship figures click here.