So, we welcome Labour’s recent announcement on the ‘growth and skills levy’. At Edge, we have long advocated for the levy to be reformed as the term ‘apprenticeship’ cannot be all things to all people. We suggest the levy is reformed to incentivise employers to take on young apprentices aged 18-24 and on high-quality routes into apprenticeships (e.g. traineeships, paid internships, reinstating the young apprenticeships model). Adult learning and retraining should then be properly funded and supported by government outside the apprenticeship programme.
As part of broader apprenticeship reform, we would encourage Labour to go further by setting high quality measures of success for apprenticeships and other skills programmes – this should move away from numerical targets towards measurements such as the delivery of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI strategies); completion rates; progress and destination measures; and percentage of apprentices and employers satisfied with programmes.