Our response to the NAO statement on apprenticeships

6 March 2019

Following the release of the National Audit Office statement on the apprenticeships programme, Stephen Evans, chief executive, Learning and Work Institute, said:

“The best apprenticeships are world-leading, but the National Audit Office is right to raise concerns. That includes the need to measure the long-term impact of apprenticeships on careers and productivity. Learning and Work Institute has called for all apprenticeship standards to be benchmarked against the world’s best.

The NAO rightly flags the risk that, after a slow start, the apprenticeship budget might be overspent. We need action to ensure funding for SMEs and for young people. It was never the intention of the Levy for young people entering the jobs market to miss out, with an increasing portion of the budget spent on existing employees aged over 25, including for management training. There must be room for both young and older to undertake apprenticeships at all levels and an appropriate contribution for each from employers and the government.

Our central focus should be quality and access. Many of the apprenticeship reforms have headed in the right direction. But we must now heed the warning signs and take further action to build a world class apprenticeship system.”

Dr Fiona Aldridge, director for policy and research was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Today and BBC Radio Five Live Wednesday morning.

For further interviews from Fiona, Stephen or our deputy director for policy and research Joe Dromey, please contact press@learningandwork.org.uk.