Cuts to Apprenticeship Funding

Fifty-five Labour MPs have written a letter to the Apprenticeships and Skills Minister to rethink inner-city apprenticeship funding cuts.

Former minister for higher education and MP for Tottenham, David Lammy, said the cuts will be “devastating for apprentices in deprived areas.”

The funding changes will take effect from May 2017 and will see apprenticeship funding for 16-18 year olds reduced by 30%, with estimated 50% cuts in the most deprived areas of the country.

 

Mr Lammy said the Government “talk a good game” on social justice but was in fact drastically affecting programmes for people trying to improve their life chances. He said:

These cuts are a direct attack on social mobility and a direct attack on the life chances of working class kids.

The Government talk about social justice and helping people from disadvantaged and low income backgrounds to get on in life, but time and time again they take from the poor and give to the rich.

Further education and skills provision in this country has already been decimated over the last six years and it is totally wrong that this Government continue to see apprenticeships as the poor cousin to higher education.

 

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Robert Halfon (pictured below), said:

 

This Government is doubling investment in apprenticeships because we know they create a ladder of opportunity for our young people. Through the new levy £2.5bn will be invested in apprenticeships by 2019 – 20 – twice that was spent in 2010 – 11. That means more money going in to the system and more money on average per apprenticeship.

We want to encourage young employers to take on young people. That’s why they won’t have to pay more to give a 16-18 year old their first step on the career ladder and why we’re proposing to give employers and extra £1,000 for every young apprentice they take on. This will help to ensure every young person, regardless of background or ability, has the chance to take their first step into work.

 

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Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP

5 September 2016    

 

Dear Robert

We are writing to you regarding the proposed funding rates for apprenticeships from 1st May 2017, as published by the Skills Funding Agency on Friday 12th August 2016. Based on the proposed upper funding limits for 16-18 year old apprentices, current rates paid to colleges and training providers will be cut by around 30% – this will rise to over 50% for the most deprived areas of our country.  

Analysis undertaken by FE Week shows that the two most popular apprenticeships measured by total 16-18 year old starts – level 2 apprenticeships in Business Administration and in Construction – face cuts of between 27% and 52%, dependent on location. 

After years of austerity cuts, which have hit those living in the most deprived areas hardest, we are particularly concerned about the removal of the ‘disadvantage uplift’ for an apprentice living in a deprived area. By stark contrast, funding for older apprentices who live in wealthier areas and work at larger employers will actually be increased in many cases.

We fear that the impact of these funding cuts will be devastating in deprived areas, where unemployment rates are already well above the national average, especially amongst young people. Taken in combination with the recent scrapping of maintenance grants to support young people from low income backgrounds who hope to go onto higher education, we are acutely worried that these cuts will do real damage to the life chances of many of our constituents.

Mark Dawe, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, has already warned that many providers are likely to cut back or withdraw provision altogether if these new proposed rates are implemented. Cuts of this nature will mean that apprenticeships will simply no longer be viable in terms of basic delivery, and providers will certainly not be able to offer the high quality programmes that our apprentices need. 

These cuts hugely undermine the Government’s pledge to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, and also entirely contradict the Prime Minister’s promise to “help anybody, whatever your background, go as far as your talents will take you” in order to create a country and an economy that “works not for a privileged few, but for every one of us”. 

We believe that the Government needs to be doing much more to help young people from working class and low income backgrounds move into skilled employment, instead of cutting funding rates for apprenticeships. These cuts would be a step in the wrong direction and we call on you in the strongest terms to think again and reverse them.

 

Yours sincerely 

Rt Hon David Lammy MP

Rushanara Ali MP

Dave Anderson MP

Jonathan Ashworth MP 

Ian Austin MP 

Tom Blenkinsop MP 

Paul Blomfield MP

Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw MP

Karen Buck MP

Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP

Ruth Cadbury MP

Ronald Campbell MP 

Sarah Champion MP

Rosie Cooper MP

Jim Cunningham MP

Nic Dakin MP

Thangam Debbonaire MP 

Jack Dromey MP

Gill Furniss MP

Mary Glindon MP

Roger Godsiff MP

Lilian Greenwood MP

Helen Hayes MP

Mark Hendrick MP

Sharon Hodgson MP

Kate Hoey MP

Kate Hollern MP

Rt Hon George Howarth MP

Imran Hussain MP

Helen Jones MP

Peter Kyle MP

Holly Lynch MP

John Mann MP

Madeleine Moon MP

Siobhain McDonagh MP

Jim McMahon MP

Lisa Nandy MP 

Kate Osamor MP

Jess Phillips MP

Steve Reed MP

Emma Reynolds MP

Marie Rimmer MP

Rt Hon Joan Ryan MP

Steve Rotheram MP

Yasmin Qureshi MP

Virendra Sharma MP

Ruth Smeeth MP

Wes Streeting MP

Gareth Thomas MP

Stephen Timms MP

Karl Turner MP

Stephen Twigg MP

Catherine West MP

Daniel Zeichner MP

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By | 2017-08-15T13:40:34+00:00 September 5th, 2016|Apprenticeships, Archive, News|Comments Off on Cuts to Apprenticeship Funding