To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress his Department is making on meeting the 2.3 per cent public sector apprenticeship target; and when his Department will meet that target.
As of 31 March 2020, the Civil Service 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. DCMS has achieved 1.9% apprentices of the total staff employed within the department. We are reviewing our departmental apprenticeship strategy and are working to achieve the target for 2020/21 through a mixture of new appointments and development opportunities for existing staff. Given this target is a percentage of the total workforce the percentage changes in line with workforce fluctuations over time therefore making it challenging to predict when a department will meet it. The data for 2018/19 can be found here. The data for 2019/20 will be released on gov.uk by the end of September 2020.
Departments are committed to increasing the number of apprentices across the Civil Service and continue to work towards the 2.3% target. The impact of the current pandemic has slowed recruitment due to priority work and logistics. With the current strategy and targets coming to an end in April 2021, the Civil Service is already focusing on how to continue to support the apprenticeship agenda and drive forward apprenticeship recruitment, pulling on the Plan for Jobs initiative and considering the current economic situation.