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Almost £5bn in apprenticeship funding “misused”

by | 16 Aug 23 | Featured Slider, News, Topics

Construction worker atop timber supports

Small businesses in the construction sector are “on the brink of collapse” as a result of the national skill crisis, worsened by lack of apprenticeship funding, says trade radio station Fix Radio.

In a report by Police Exchange, it was discovered that almost £5bn in funding raised by the national Apprenticeship Levy since 2018 has not been spent on apprenticeships.

Data from the Department for Education shows a 38% drop in completed apprenticeships, falling from 12,420 in 2018 to 7,700 in 2022. The number of people beginning construction apprenticeships in London fell by 18% from 2017/18 to 2020/21, found the London Assembly Economy Committee.

The Office for National Statistics disclosed that the construction sector experienced the second-highest percentage of worker shortages at the end of 2022. It is estimated that an additional 225,000 workers are needed in the construction industry by 2027 to meet market demand.

Clive Holland, broadcaster for Fix Radio says: “In the United Kingdom, we’ve got over 1.3 million unemployed in this country; if that is the case, that is quite a shock. In the background. If over one million people are unemployed and there’s all these job vacancies that need filling in the construction industry, I think the age limit for apprenticeship funding should be wiped out now.

“I think now is the time to go ‘here’s the support’. The Government can focus on apprentices and get people into schools and colleges to talk about the industry and the positives of becoming a tradesperson.”

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