Education secretary Damian Hinds has insisted the UK’s workplace training is “coming of age” with the apprenticeship levy, and defended restrictions in the new system that many businesses complain about.
But he said increasing numbers of employees had been taking up high quality apprenticeships since large companies and public sector organisations were required by the government in 2017 to contribute the equivalent of 0.5 per cent of their total wage bill to fund workplace training.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Hinds also said the UK’s looming departure from the EU made the task of reinvigorating skills-based training more urgent.
“Brexit should be a skills moment,” added Mr Hinds, who campaigned for Remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum. “It should be about development of the workforce, about improving our productivity and education.”
The CBI, the employers’ organisation, said in January the government’s reform of workplace training had proved frustrating for many companies because of the system’s inflexibility, noting there was a shortage of appropriate courses on which to spend money raised by the apprenticeship levy. Read more