Apprentices: Taxation

Department for Education written question – answered on 25th October 2021.

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Photo of Emma Hardy Emma Hardy Labour, Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information his Department holds on whether employers are using their levy funds to access high quality apprenticeship training and assessment.

Photo of Alex Burghart Alex Burghart The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The apprenticeship levy is an important part of our reforms to apprenticeships, supporting employers of all sizes to invest in high-quality apprenticeships.

Employers that pay the levy can spend the funds available to them in their apprenticeship service accounts on apprenticeship training and assessment. Employers have developed over 630 high-quality apprenticeship standards in a diverse range of occupations, allowing them to spend the levy on the training that works for them.

Our reforms to apprenticeships have made them longer and better, with more off-the-job training and an independent assessment at the end. Ofsted inspects the quality of apprenticeship training provision at all levels. Any provider that receives an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted assessment for apprenticeships will be removed from the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers. We are also taking a number of steps to improve the quality of apprenticeships further. This includes refreshing the Register with more stringent criteria, investing in a comprehensive package of professional workforce development for apprenticeship providers and providing tools, advice, and guidance to support employers to give their apprentices a high-quality experience.

We publish a wide range of information on apprenticeships through our monthly and quarterly statistical releases. Information on the number of apprenticeship starts, achievements, types of apprenticeships undertaken (for example standards and sector subject areas), as well as the number of starts supported by apprenticeship service account levy funds, can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fe-data-library-apprenticeships.

Provisional data show that there have been 319,400 starts reported to date in the 2020/21 academic year. Final year data will be published in November here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/further-education-and-skills-statistical-first-release-sfr#latest-releases.

In August 2020, we introduced incentive payments for employers taking on new apprentices as part of the Plan for Jobs. Latest figures show that over 101,000 apprentices have been supported through the apprenticeship incentives between August 2020 and September 2021, of which 76% of apprentices are under the age of 25. We have extended the £3,000 incentive payment for new apprentice hires of any age until 31 January 2022 to support employers to offer new apprenticeships.

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