Apprentices: Degrees

Department for Education written question – answered on 15th March 2019.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has in addition to the levy transfer, to review the (a) barriers and (b) incentives to non-levy participation in degree apprenticeships.

Photo of Anne Milton Anne Milton Minister of State (Education)

Holding answer received on 13 March 2019

We continue to keep the apprenticeship programme under review.

Level 6+ apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships were introduced in 2015 to bring the benefits of employer-led jobs with training to all levels of apprenticeship employment. We are working to move non-levy paying employers away from the current funding system to give them access to the same award-winning digital service as levy payers. We will provide more information on the transition by July.

We recognise that small and medium-sized enterprises, most of whom do not pay the apprenticeship levy, are the lifeblood of our economy and it is essential that our reforms work for these employers. Smaller employers that do not pay the levy already benefit from generous co-investment with 90% of training and assessment costs for apprenticeships provided by government. Government co-investment will increase to 95% in 2019.

The National Apprenticeship Service works through intermediary organisations (trade associations, business representative bodies and local partnerships) to reach smaller employers and increase engagement in apprenticeships. Through these organisations, we can reach up to 1.5 million employers.

We will continue to review the apprenticeship programme and to ensure we have the right incentives and remove barriers where it is possible.

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