This is the Education Committee's examination of the apprenticeship levy - expenditure, administration, and policy overall - published in October 2018.
Their inquiry analysed the provision of opportunity for young people alongside commitment and enthusiasm for apprenticeships overall.
They found that:
Too many apprentices are simply not getting the high-quality training they deserve and too many people, particularly the young and disadvantaged, are not being given the support they need to pursue an apprenticeship and get on in life.
The report contains 27 recommendations on quality of apprenticeships provided and improving social justice outputs.
I thoroughly recommend reading pages 3 - 7 to get a sense of what they're saying.
Standout recommendations for me are:
1) Providers judged by Ofsted to be making insufficient progress should be removed from the register of apprenticeship training providers. Shocking and worrying that poorly performing providers can continue to operate.
2) We recommend that the Institute makes the growth of degree apprenticeships a strategic priority. Echos findings of my research earlier this year that graduate recruiters are starting to replace grad programmes with degree apprenticeships. This is the BEST way to get the skills that businesses need and invest in future skills of young people.
3) The government should introduce bursaries for other disadvantaged groups modelled on the care leavers’ bursary. Yes! And could be funded by the unused levy pot?
4) The Government must stop dragging its feet over apprentice transport costs. It must set out how it plans to reduce apprentice travel costs, in a way which works for all regions and areas, in its response to our report, if not sooner. Needs no extra comment from me.
5) Government introduces a proper UCAS-style portal for technical education to simplify the application process and encourage progression to further training at higher levels. Apprenticeships will have a hard time matching university as a career route when we treat them differently. I wholeheartedly agreed with this.
The funding system should do more to help the young and disadvantaged climb the ladder of opportunity. This means more bursaries, increased incentives for small and medium-sized businesses and social enterprises, and a new social justice fund to support organisations that help the hardest to reach.