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6 November 2012
The 600+ plus members of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers train over 70% of apprentices in England and the Association of Employment and Learning Providers was the first to give oral evidence to the committee.
Graham Hoyle, AELP chief executive, said:
“The select committee’s report is a considered and thoughtful piece of analysis. AELP obviously agrees that high quality delivery of the apprenticeships programme is very important, but we believe that the committee in making its comments on 'quality rather than quantity' could have given greater recognition to the fact that success rates are running at a record rate of 76.4% which compare well with the best in Europe. One doesn't have to be at the expense of the other.
The MPs' observations on whether the 50% funding rate cut for apprentices aged between 19 and 24 is damaging take-up are constructive and we agree that the government should review the current position.
We are impressed that the committee does not necessarily regard the direct funding of employers’ apprenticeship programmes as a panacea for employer engagement and that any pilots or initiatives should be carefully evaluated. Our own recent proposals suggest that vouchers redeemable by SMEs through approved training providers might be the way forward.
The committee is also right to recommend that the new minimum duration rules should be kept under review in order to identify any possible unforeseen consequences.
AELP is particularly pleased that the MPs have endorsed that the definition of an apprenticeship should include employed status for the learner.
We also agree strongly with the recommendations that NAS should have responsibilities in relation to promoting apprenticeships within schools.”