Apprenticeships4England to warn of ‘decrease in apprenticeship opportunities’ at conference

Apprenticeships4EnglandOne of the UK’s leading voices on apprenticeships – Apprenticeships4England – will warn conference delegates this autumn that proposed funding reforms will lead to a decrease in apprenticeship opportunities.

Lindsay McCurdy, Chief Executive of Apprenticeships4England, will tell delegates at the HABC National Conference on 13 November 2014 at Old Trafford Stadium that over half of businesses believe they would be forced to decrease the number of apprenticeship places they offer when the funding reforms come into place in 2015/16.

The stark statistic comes from the Apprenticeship4England Impact Funding Reform Survey conducted earlier this year, which asked businesses and training providers for their views on the proposed changes.

Key findings from the report show that:

  • 51% of businesses respondents think their organisation will see a decrease in apprenticeship uptake;
  • Over half of training providers believe engagement with businesses will decrease by 50% or more;
  • That 42% of businesses plan to walk away from apprenticeships completely once the new funding reforms are implemented;
  • 84% of respondents believe that employers should be able to choose whether they handle funding or not; and
  • 88% of all respondents believe that apprenticeship opportunities will be reduced overall.

Lindsay McCurdy said, ‘What the proposals mean for the apprenticeship training sector, businesses and learners remain to be seen, but the statistics are there to see and reflect the deep concern across every part of the sector. I very much look forward to being part of the discussion at the HABC National Conference in November, and to hear if the opinions of the delegates match those of the Apprenticeship4England Impact survey’.

Jason Sprenger, HABC Chief Executive, said, ‘We have had 12 months of significant change in the apprenticeship sector, with more to come in 2015 and 2016. Out apprenticeship seminar at the HABC National Conference 2014 will bring clarity and insight to a range of issues from current and future apprenticeship developments, the constraints that providers find themselves facing, the support available and leadership training for deliverers – all within the context of the recent changes’.

As well as Lindsay McCurdy, the apprenticeship seminar at the HABC National Conference will feature speakers from the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), the UK Commission for Education and Skills (UKCES), the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), One Stop Stores, Superdrug parent company AS Watson and Whistl (formerly TNT Post).

Notes to editors:
1. Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (‘HABC’) is one of the UK’s leading Awarding Organisations for vocational qualifications.
2. The apprenticeship seminar is one of seven that make up the HABC National Conference covering a number of sectors including fire safety/health and safety, first aid, food safety, licensing, pool lifeguarding and security.
3. Cost per attendee is £135+VAT for HABC Approved Centres and £195+VAT for non-Centres, with discounts available for early and multiple bookings.

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