CMI comment on CBI Report: "Getting Apprenticeships Right: Next Steps"
This is a welcome intervention from a key employer voice, said Rob Wall, Head of Policy, CMI.
CMI has long called for an Institute for Apprenticeships that is truly independent, properly transparent and genuinely employer-led.
We wholeheartedly agree that the review of funding bands has been poorly executed. Employers have been frustrated by the lack of transparency, and we know that high quality providers are considering exiting the market. There must be more openness and accountability around reviews going forward, and more information provided of the basis on which decisions are made.
For the same reason, transition periods for the new funding bands - including those for management apprenticeships - must be extended to at least 6 months. This will allow the impact of changes to be properly understood and give both employers and providers time to adapt to the new arrangements.
CMI echoes calls for the Institute to be given new success criteria, including the closing of skills gaps, and for better alignment between the Institute's priorities and the needs of the labour market. These new criteria must be designed in such a way as to reflect the reality of how employers want to use the levy, particularly around essential up-skilling and re-skilling of employees.
In all, we welcome the CBI's report, but do not believe they have been radical enough. If we are truly to rebuild employers' and providers' confidence in the apprenticeships system, then responsibility for the Institute and apprenticeships should be taken out of the hands of the Department for Education and returned to the Department for Business.