06 January 2020 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Fake apprenticeships have been allocated over £1.2 billion of levy funding since April 2017 and account for 50 per cent of all the 'apprenticeships' started over this period, according to research from a think tank.
A report by education think tank EDSK states that the government left it up to employers to decide what could be labelled as an apprenticeship, despite several recognised international definitions being freely available.
Some employers have "exploited this weakness in the reforms by inappropriately labelling training courses as 'apprenticeships'" says the group.
ABM UK's director Adam Baker commented: "While the report is damning, it's sadly not surprising. From the start, the levy has been more about upskilling than apprenticeships and herein lies the issue. It's a case of renaming or rethinking.
"It's vital that the reputation of the levy is protected because the spirit of it is something industry is desperate for: to do this it needs to be reworked to ensure goal posts are clear. For the FM industry and many others which rely on technical skills, the levy needs to at least in part force businesses to look at ways of attracting young people."