To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the conclusions of the National Audit Office’s report of 6 March 2019, The apprenticeships programme, HC 1987 2017-19, what plans he has to address concerns that funding for that programme may be insufficient should there be an increase in demand for apprenticeships.
We are pleased that employers are choosing to move to our new, higher quality apprenticeship offer to make a sustainable investment in the skills that they need to grow. Employers are designing higher level apprenticeships that take longer and require more off-the-job training and, while this is something to be welcomed, we are conscious of the challenges it presents.
In 2019-20, funding available for investment in apprenticeships in England will be over £2.5 billion, this is double what was spent in 2010-11. The apprenticeship budget is set in advance by Her Majesty’s Treasury for the current spending review period. Currently, we expect to be within budget in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 financial years. We continue to monitor the trend of increasing spending on apprenticeships and to make use of our engagement with employers in addition to all available data from the programme to inform forecasts of demand and future costs.