Government guidelines published on June 26 have concluded recruitment companies as well as other sectors will be held responsible for making sure all apprenticeship programme requirements are met.
As part of the new apprenticeship levy, introduced in April this year, 20% of training given must be ‘off-the-job’, whereby one-fifth of learning will need to take place outside the core working environment and must focus on the personal development of the apprentice.
The guidelines state that delivery of the training can be by the employer themselves or a provider, however, regardless of the method chosen, employers are now responsible for ensuring apprenticeships are receiving off-the-job training for a minimum of 20% of the time they are paid to work.
In a keynote speech which took place at the 2017 Association of Employment and Learning Providers conference on the same day as the guidelines were published, Anne Milton, the skills minister and MP for Guildford, said: “The 20% threshold for off-the-job training is absolutely critical. We don’t just want three million apprentices, we want three million high-quality apprentices, with a strong reputation and brand.”
In addition, Milton also addressed the decrease in the number of apprenticeship starts, which fell by 25% since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy: “It’s absolutely critical that we work together on this, and I am keen to listen to your views. I know there has been some uncertainty in recent months, and that for many of you this has been a bruising period – but I am here to listen and to learn, and I hope to offer some clarity moving forwards.”