Employer fear as apprenticeship funding threatened
CMI, businesses and apprentices unite to challenge the Institute for Apprenticeship’s funding recommendationsCMI Insights
Around 200 leading employers and providers, as well as more than 300 apprentices, have called on Government to reject proposals for huge cuts to the funding bands for management apprenticeships.
Employers including Asda, BT, IBM and the NHS have voiced concern that the cuts will ‘irrevocably damage the quality, volume and reputation of management apprenticeships’.
Anne Thomas, education director at Serco explained: “These cuts would clearly undermine our future ability to use our Levy on the management skills we need for our future business growth.”
Supported by the CMI, the Trailblazer Group of employers responsible for management apprenticeship standards, has called for a full social and economic impact assessment of the changes, which if implemented would see the funding band for the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship slashed from £27,000 to £22,000. The bands for the Operations Manager Apprenticeship and Team Leader Apprenticeship would be cut by 20% and ten per cent respectively.
The concern is understandable: in a true indication of value for money, apprenticeships have been credited with boosting productivity, promoting social mobility and addressing the UK’s management skills gap, ahead of Brexit.
In our recent series on CMI Insights, apprentices have explained how the CMDA has given them ‘confidence’ and ‘a head start in the world of work’. One said: ‘there are genuine learnings that I can apply straight away.’
Read more: Meet the apprentices
Furthermore, in a recent interview, Euan Blair, co-founder of apprenticeship recruitment accelerator WhiteHat insisted: “apprenticeships could change the world” and said the programmes, ‘democratise access to careers’.
Read more: The Euan Blair interview
The fears about the apprenticeship funding cuts have been intensified by criticism of the way in which the Institute for Apprenticeships (IFA) carried out the review of funding bands. Those aware of the review process have described ‘unrealistic deadlines’ and ‘incorrect briefing documents’. It remains to be seen if the IFA will rethink their recommendations.