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Apprentice Funding Move ‘Falls Short’ – Says Group

Date

16/09/2020

Categories

Enginuity news, Industry news

Unless the legislation is put in place as a matter of urgency, and as the furlough scheme unwinds, we may see many thousands of young people unable to finish their apprenticeship leaving the UK with a gap in future skills and talent for when the economy needs them.

Apprentice funding falls short

The ESFA will continue to fund apprentices to complete their training if they are at least 75 percent of their way through their programme at the point of redundancy.

Apprentice funding measures recently announced by the government do not go far enough according to a group of industry experts including Enginuity’s CEO Ann Watson and board member, Tony Burke.

Apprentices nearing completion of their training will continue to be funded if they are made redundant when a new regulation is introduced by the Government, it has been announced.

The Government is set to sign a statutory instrument that will allow the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to continue to fund apprentices to complete their training if they are at least 75 percent of their way through their programme at the point of redundancy.

This follows a public campaign by the TUC, CSEU, skills bodies Enginuity and Cogent along with employer’s bodies such as Make UK, the Chemical Industries Association and others to allow those apprentices facing losing their jobs to complete their apprenticeships.

The move, however, falls short of what the consortium of unions, skills bodies and employers were seeking in that the ESFA will only continue to fund apprentices to complete if they are made redundant within six months of their final day of training – but will not be applied retrospectively.

The Statutory Instrument will be debated in both the House of Commons and House of Lords before it can become law.

Tony Burke, Unite Assistant General Secretary, who is President of the CSEU and who represents trade unions on the boards of Enginuity and Cogent said: “It’s a start – but not enough. We want the scheme to apply to all apprentices who may face losing their jobs – not just those who are within six months of completion of their apprenticeship.

“There also needs to be clarity as to how this will work – the skills bodies such as Enginuity and Cogent, and the unions and employers need to be involved in speedily setting up any scheme.

“There is also the issue of the fall in the intake of apprentices and that of those workers who face redundancy and who have transferable skills – there needs to be a national plan and a national skills task force to protect the UK skills base.”

Ann Watson CEO of Enginuity said: “Unless the legislation is put in place as a matter of urgency, and as the furlough scheme unwinds, we may see many thousands of young people unable to finish their apprenticeship leaving the UK with a gap in future skills and talent for when the economy needs them.”

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