Next Members’ meeting – Thursday 27 May 2021 at 1.30pm

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 27 May 2021; again this meeting will be a virtual meeting. On this occasion we will be using GoToMeeting again but we are investigating the use of alternative systems.

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DfE statistics on apprenticeships

The Department for Education (DfE) published a series of data on apprenticeships, including on employer incentives and levy numbers (Apprenticeships and traineeships, Academic Year 2020/21 – Explore education statistics – GOV.UK (

The latest data on the utilisation of the employer apprenticeship grants, which were first unveiled in Rishi Sunak’s Plan for Jobs, highlights an ongoing lack of traction and the need for incentives to be much more generous in order to drive behaviours and and targeted at cohorts in greater need (e.g. 16-24-year olds).

The apprenticeship levy transfer is on course to continue its growth for a third consecutive year, as the ESFA brings in more flexibility about “bulk transfer” of funds. It is also interesting to see that it is not just non-levy employers benefiting as receivers either.

Unfortunately, the trend in apprenticeship starts showed a 28% decline compared to last year, with a particularly worrying decrease in starts for 16-18 learners and at Level 2 – each down 50% on the same indicator compared to last year.

The main points to take away from the recent DfE statistical publication are the following:

  • Apprenticeship starts were down by 27.6% to 91,100, compared to 125,800 reported for the same period in 2019/20
  • Learner participation decreased by 9.3% to 510,500, compared to 562,700 in 2019/20
  • Apprenticeship achievements were down by 0.7% to 30,100, compared to 30,300 in 2019/20
  • 16-18 way down nearly 50% on same period (Q1) last year and now overall only account for 26% of starts
  • Level 2 also over 50% down on last year (25% of all starts now)


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