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From FE Week:
Thousands of apprentices on a new level 5 management programme have already dropped out of the course, official figures have revealed.
The operations or departmental manager standard had a retention rate of just 53.5 per cent last year for 4,250 “leavers”.
That means 1,980 apprentices – 47 per cent – who were due to finish between August 2019 and July 2020 did not complete their course.
The management standard has been one of the top 10 most popular apprenticeships at all levels and sectors in England for the past two and a half years, with 5,542 starts in the first six months of 2020/21 alone.
In 2019/20, it secured 10,052 starts, making it the fifth most popular apprenticeship that year; and in 2018/19, it saw 10,466 starts, and placed seventh.
The maximum funding band for the course was cut from £9,000 to £7,000 for starts from March 4, 2019.
The Department for Education does not publish funding values, but it is likely that around £10 million was spent on these nearly 2,000 apprentices who did not finish the course.
The achievement rate on the standard that year was also only 52.9 per cent.
Retention rates on all level 5 apprenticeships overall have been dropping year after year: in 2017/18, the level recorded a 64.8 per cent rate; then in 2018/19, the rate was 61.1; and in 2019/20, it was 57.5 per cent.