Commenting on the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister’s announcement to give employers control of apprenticeship funding, Tim Thomas, Head of Employment & Skills Policy at EEF the manufacturers’ organisation, said:
"Employers have been calling for years for an apprenticeship system that puts them firmly in the driving seat so the proposed new funding model using a digital vouchers is both very welcome and an important step forward. To make sure it’s effective ministers must avoid adding unnecessary red tape and give employers full control of apprenticeship funding as this will be key to providing high quality training. Without this, many employers will continue to be frozen out of taking on their first apprentice or deterred from expanding their current apprenticeship schemes.
“It’s important now for Government to immediately work with employers together to finalise the design of the funding mechanism to ensure it is simple, suitable for firms of all sizes and permanent.”
Commenting on the boost to apprentice pay, Tim Thomas said:
“We have been calling for a boost to apprentice pay and so the 57p increase to £3.30 is the right thing to do for manufacturing. For manufacturers, the value of recruiting apprentices means they will continue to pay above this rate to attract and retain the very best talent. However, the LPC’s role is determine a rate that works best for the wider economy and so government must ensure the increase does not act as a deterrent to recruiting apprentices amongst other sectors.”