As part of National Apprenticeships Week, Liverpool City Region has published its Apprenticeship Growth Plan setting out how it will increase the number of apprenticeships over the next three years.
The plan sets out the City Region’s aspiration to deliver 20,000 apprenticeships per year by 2020 and can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.
This ambitious target is in spite of figures showing a sharp fall in the number of apprenticeship starts nationally, following the introduction of the funding reforms, including the Government’s flagship Apprenticeship Levy policy. The number of national starts dropped by 41% - a fall of 111,000 new starters - in the first six months since the introduction of the funding reforms.
The Plan aims to improve the way the apprenticeship system and reforms work for the City Region and sets out a vision for apprenticeship growth through:
- Increasing the volume of apprenticeships opportunities available;
- Expanding the diversity of frameworks and standards available to residents and employers;
- Improving an apprentice’s ability to progress to higher qualification levels including degrees; and
- Developing a higher standard of quality for apprenticeships offered and delivered
The key actions to drive apprenticeship programme performance locally include:
- The Combined Authority will explore alternative sources of funding for the Apprenticeship Hub to provide greater stability and allow it to take the lead on the implementation of the Apprenticeship Growth Plan;
- The Combined Authority will launch an Apprenticeship Pledge to gain commitment to apprenticeship growth from public and private sector employers, Colleges and providers and other stakeholders;
- The Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership will facilitate greater employer engagement in the planning and delivery of apprenticeships;
- The Combined Authority will continue to lobby Government as part of ongoing devolution discussions to retain unallocated levy funding within the Liverpool City Region;
- The Combined Authority will seek to commission a capacity building fund via European Social Fund (ESF) to support colleges and providers based in the City Region to establish provision of new standards, test new markets or deliver different sector subject areas than they have previously delivered to City Region residents, to enhance the breath of provision available locally; and
- The Combined Authority will seek to commission, via ESF, a Quality Improvement Fund, providing a package of support for Colleges and providers to improve the quality of apprenticeships.