Ministry of Defence: Apprentices

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 20th July 2020.

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Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Chair, Education Committee, Chair, Education Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to reach the public sector apprenticeship target.

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is proud to be one of the largest deliverers of apprenticeships in the UK, with over 20,000 personnel engaged on a nationally recognised apprenticeship programme at any one time and over 90 per cent of our non-commissioned military recruits offered an apprenticeship relating to their trade. Public sector bodies with 250 or more staff have a target to employ an average of at least 2.3 % of their staff as new apprentice starts over the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2021. The Armed Forces are exceeding this target with an average of 8.3% of employees starting an apprenticeship in 2017-2019.

The MOD's Civil Service (CS) is contributing towards the CS public sector target. The MOD CS has achieved a total of 2.1% of its total workforce as apprentices against the legislative target for the public sector of 2.3% by March 2021, to date. This has increased from 1.6% in 2019/20. We committed to enrolling 50,000 apprenticeships between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2020 and we exceeded that target in November 2018, over a year ahead of schedule.

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