More than 152 employers including leading advocates for apprenticeships, and over 285 management apprentices have signed the Trailblazer Group’s appeal to present to Ministers at the Department for Education to reject the latest proposals by the Institute of Apprenticeships to introduce huge cuts to the funding bands of the most popular management apprenticeships.
With the Government already admitting that it will struggle to meet its target of 3m apprenticeships and its stated commitment to focus on high quality new programmes, supporters believe that these cuts will completely undermine the quality and early employer investment in these successful programmes.
Following a deeply flawed funding review process, the IfA has proposed reducing the funding bands for the most popular management apprenticeships as follows:
- Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship – from £27,000 to £22,000
- Operations Manager Apprenticeship (Level 5) – from £9,000 to £7,000
- Team Leader Apprenticeship (Level 3) – from £5,000 to £4,500
According to the evidence submitted by employers and providers as part of the review process, these cuts would irrevocably damage the quality, reputation and volume of management apprenticeships. Many universities and high-quality providers will exit the market, and the more intensive programmes that support young people and drive social mobility will be hit hardest.
The Trailblazer Group is currently appealing the decision on the grounds that it was not a fair and transparent process, with unrealistic deadlines, incorrect briefing documents and irrelevant information included. Significantly, given ‘value for money’ was a key criteria for the review, employers are concerned that the review has not considered the economic and social impact of these programmes, and is calling for a detailed impact assessment to demonstrate the value and benefits being delivered to the economy.
You can follow the latest developments on these proposals on the FE Week website