Looking at Apprenticeships Today
England, it would seem, is unlikely to raise the status of apprenticeships to that achieved in say, Germany, or Austria, but Government determination and innovation seems to bearing some considerable fruits.
To see where the latest projections of new Government policy are heading by the year 2020, perhaps a brief look at recent progress.
Apprenticeships provide craft, technical and associated professional skills that are appreciated by employers, so improving the prospects of employment amongst young people.
While enhancing their knowledge and employability, unlike students incurring vast debts, the apprentices are paid a reasonable wage.
The last thirty years have seen matters of youth employment, unemployment and skillset rise in importance of Government policies, and although different Governments have followed different policy aims for apprenticeships.
Labour Governments have tended to try and multiply the numbers of actual apprentices, and the Tories more on using apprenticeships to achieve higher skills.
The bit-part policies have not appropriately encouraged employers to engage with apprenticeship courses, which is where the current Government have directed their reinvigorated efforts to upgrade and upscale the whole apprenticeship scheme.
The proposal to establish 3,000,000 apprenticeships by the year 2020, is picking up pace, and in April 2017 an apprenticeship levy is to be introduced. This will involve all UK employers with annual salary bills of more than £3 million to contribute.
It is aimed at funding apprenticeship training across the UK, and the levy will be 0.5% of the employer’s payroll amount, provided the payroll is in excess of £3 million. Find the perfect apprenticeship for you, from one of the largest providers of apprenticeships in the UK.
Government estimates reckon that this will mean levies from around 2% of employers across the country which will raise around £3 billion per year by 2019-20. This will be used to fund the increase and potential upgrade of the apprenticeship, and will be devolved, with England to facilitate £2.5 billion.
This will allow for increased spending on apprenticeships and also quality, as employers, though the more apprentices they take on the more state funded training will be available, they will still want value for their money.
The Trailblazer scheme has served to raise awareness of, and create interest among employers who are keen to develop higher standard apprenticeship training and promote degree apprenticeships, and the levy, which copies many countries with existing policies, means employers paying a proportion for training.
High level and degree apprenticeship courses are criss-crossing the lines between vocational and academic education, which may well help reduce the perception that apprenticeships are second best.