The federal government’s multi-billion pound apprenticeships scheme must be extra strategically linked to its plans for financial development, a report says.
The Nationwide Audit Workplace says the federal government’s plans for 3 million new apprenticeships in England by 2020 must be honed to satisfy abilities gaps.
The main target must be much less on what number of apprenticeships are created and extra on which sector wants them, it provides.
A minister stated employers are creating coaching locations to satisfy their wants.
The report says the Division for Training, which was lately given total accountability for the apprenticeships programme, has not but set out how the rise in apprenticeship numbers will result in elevated productiveness.
Presently, it depends on market mechanisms to draw the correct apprenticeships to handle abilities gaps within the economic system.
The Division for England is “due to this fact in a roundabout way concerned in deciding the place, or at what degree, apprenticeships happen”.
For optimum profit to the nation, it provides, there must be “a transparent rationale for the way apprenticeships match into the broader plan for productiveness and development”.
The report argues that “with out this strategic underpinning, there’s a clear danger that the drive to ship larger numbers is delivered on the expense of delivering most worth”.
The NAO report additionally stresses that the DfE has no approach of checking how its programme is reaching its goals.
“There aren’t any success measures by way of, for instance, how the programme is impacting on abilities ranges, addressing abilities gaps or enhancing achievement charges,” it says.
However the report does word that the programme is within the early levels of a transition, and that it has been steered a brand new Institute for Apprenticeships might tackle the position of measuring success.
The NAO additionally highlights analysis evaluating the earnings potential of profitable apprentices and people following completely different paths.
‘Ladder of alternative’
There are important variations in earnings for apprentices throughout completely different sectors, however the report says that the commonest apprenticeships don’t command the largest wages.
Amyas Morse, head of the Nationwide Audit Workplace, stated: “The Division for Training must chart and comply with a course from having plenty of apprenticeships to having the correct apprenticeships so as to assist enhance the UK’s productiveness and obtain worth for cash, in return for the prices of the programme.”
Apprenticeships and Abilities Minister Robert Halfon stated: “Our apprenticeship reforms give younger folks a ladder of alternative, present employers with prime quality apprentices and ship actual advantages to the economic system.
“We’re giving employers extra energy than ever earlier than to design apprenticeships which are rigorous, sturdy and world class.
“The brand new Institute for Apprenticeships will be certain that apprenticeships are much more intently tailor-made to the wants of employers.”