This has been a valuable debate about the best way to structure the provision of apprenticeships and their financing. There was widespread agreement about their value as the ladder of opportunity and social mobility, and there were different ideas about how best to use and reform the apprenticeship levy.
However, given that a quarter of apprenticeship starts have been lost over the past three years, and that the FSB says that urgent action is needed—my hon. Friend Jo Gideon highlighted the challenges for SMEs—I hope the DFE will reflect on the need for further reform. Although I recognise the Minister’s commitment to apprenticeships and to making the levy work better, further announcements of reform are needed soon, as promised by the Prime Minister. Leaving things as they are will not be enough to provide the skills needed by global Britain or for an ambitious programme of levelling up.
Question put and agreed to.
That this House
has considered the effectiveness of the apprenticeship levy.