Fears are growing for the future of a popular management apprenticeship as the government deliberates on whether to slash its funding by a third.
The level four associate project management standard in in line to have its funding rates cut from £9,000 a year to £6,000, according to the Association for Project Management (APM) which is campaigning to stop the reduction.
The standard had 180 starts in 2016/17, but provisional figures suggest this number rose to 2,005 starts in 2017/18.
The proposed cut is part of the Institute for Apprenticeships’ funding band review, which began in May and covers 31 standards. A spokesperson for the IfA confirmed the government was deciding on the final funding for the associate project management standard, but would not confirm if it had proposed the £3,000 cut.
APM has warned that such a drastic fall in funding would render delivering the standard “a virtual impossibility” and has today written to skills minister Anne Milton urging her to reject the proposed cuts. It said initial estimates from employers suggest starts on the standard are set to rise to at least 2,600 next year if funding is not reduced. APM, the chartered body for the project profession, said it has received backing from several high profile corporations in its campaign to save the standard, including BT, British Airways, Royal Mail, Savilles and awarding organisation NCFE.APM, the chartered body for the project profession, said it has received backing from several high profile corporations in its campaign to save the standard, including BT, British Airways, Royal Mail, Savilles and awarding organisation NCFE.
APM said it has consulted with employers who make up over 50 per cent of all project management delivery, and the evidence suggests businesses “will simply not be willing to enrol apprenticeships onto lower quality programmes and will be unable to afford to stump up the 33 per cent shortfall themselves”.
In October the final funding bands for 12 of the standards under review were signed off. Of these, seven had their funding cut, two saw an increase and three standards remained the same. The IfA said the outcomes of the remaining 19 standards in the funding band review would be published in “due course”.