By CBI (published January 2019)
Nearly two years on after the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, apprenticeship starts have fallen by around 40%. While the government has adopted several recommendations made by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in their last Education and Skills Annual report, this report marks the first of the CBI’s series of Levy reports over the coming year. This new report from the CBI produces several important recommendations to the Institute for Apprenticeships. The authors state that the Institute should focus particularly on four priority areas: improve the quality of apprenticeship provision; make the standards development process more efficient; ensure greater transparency in funding decisions; and assume responsibility for T-levels.
- The Institute should focus on improving quality provision as an independent market regulator.
Many employers remain unclear about the role of the Institute, its interaction with other bodies within the skills system and how businesses should engage with it. The CBI calls for the Institute to raise its profile with employers by improving the dissemination of information on standards, review existing standards to ensure there is no duplication and include clear progression routes and profession mapping within all standards and higher T-levels at Level 4 and 5.
- The Institute should make the standards process more efficient.
While the institute has had some success in simplifying the bureaucracy involved in the standards approvals process, the CBI argues that the Institute must do more to speed up the development process. The Institute should look to increase the number of relationship managers, challenge all business-facing staff to be customer-orientated towards those delivering training and adopt a consistent approach to the standards approval process.
- The Institute should ensure greater transparency over funding decisions.
The CBI argues that the initial funding review process has not been clear for employers. The Institute should broaden the scope of future funding reviews and allow a wider range of stakeholders be engaged. The CBI believe that the government should extend the transition period before new funding bands take effect, work closely with the Institute to revise the review process and ensure apprenticeship funding is stable.
- The Institute should be at the heart of a successful T-levels system.
The new T-Level qualifications will be delivered from 2020, providing an opportunity for a technical qualification equivalent to A-levels. This report states that the Institute should be at the heart of the T-level system. The Institute should work with the Department for Education and employers to clarify the timetable for the transfer of responsibility for T-levels, raise awareness for the qualification and fully implement T-level panels’ recommendations for qualification content and broader programme requirements.
Download the report here.