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Top-level apprenticeships put pressure on funds, MPs warn


A focus on higher-level and high-cost apprenticeships is leading to “increasing pressure” on the government’s budget and risks squeezing out lower level qualifications, an influential committee has warned.

In a report claiming that the Department for Education’s 2017 apprenticeship reforms are “failing to deliver”—and that the government’s target for three million starts by 2020 will be missed—the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said that employers’ preference for higher-cost apprenticeships will stretch the apprenticeship budget over the next few years.

This is despite a 26 per cent fall in apprenticeship starts since the levy was introduced in 2017, and the fact that in 2017-18, the £2 billion apprenticeship budget was underspent by 20 per cent.

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